ARCHIVED – 2013 Natural Gas Exports and Imports Summary

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Volumes, Average Price and Value of Exports and Imports
  2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
Volumes (Billion m³)
Exports 80.9 86.8 90.4 91.9 92.3
Imports 26.6 31.2 31.5 22.8 20.9
Net Exports 54.3 55.6 58.9 69.0 71.4
Volumes (Bcf/d)
Exports 7.8 8.4 8.7 8.9 8.9
Imports 2.6 3.0 3.0 2.2 2.0
Net Exports 5.3 5.4 5.7 6.7 6.9
Average Price (Cdn$/GJ)
Exports 3.60 2.63 3.81 4.29 4.42
Imports 3.99 2.89 4.03 4.56 4.76
Value (Cdn$ billions)
Exports 11.2 8.7 13.1 15.1 15.5
Imports 4.0 3.4 4.8 3.9 3.8
Net Revenue 7.1 5.3 8.3 11.1 11.8


Figure 1: Canadian Natural Gas Export Volumes, 2004-2013

Figure 1: Canadian Natural Gas Export Volumes, 2004-2013
  • In 2013, Canada exported 80.9 billion m³ (7.82 Bcf/d) of natural gas, all of it to the United States, and the majority was exported by pipeline. This is 5.9 billion m³ (0.57 Bcf/d) or 7 per cent less than in 2012. Exports of natural gas in 2013 were the lowest in over a decade and 25 per cent lower than a peak in 2007. Natural gas exports decreased by an average of approximately 5 per cent per year from 2007 to 2013.

Figure 2: Canadian Natural Gas Import Volumes, 2004-2013

Figure 2: Canadian Natural Gas Import Volumes, 2004-2013
  • In 2013, Canada imported 25.5 billion m³ (2.47 Bcf/d) of gas by pipeline and 1.1 billion m³ (0.10 Bcf/d) of LNG. Imports occurred primarily into the Ontario market, where imports of Marcellus gas increasingly displaced deliveries from Alberta. Pipeline imports comprised 96 per cent of total natural gas imports, while LNG imports comprised 4 per cent of total natural gas imports.
  • In 2013, imports by pipeline decreased by 14 per cent (4.0 billion m³ or 0.39 Bcf/d) from 2012.
  • In 2013, LNG imports decreased by 36 per cent (0.6 billion m³ or 0.06 Bcf/d) from 2012. 73 per cent of LNG was imported from Qatar, 22 per cent was imported from Trinidad and Tobago, and 4 per cent was imported from the United States in 2013.
  • From 2007 to 2013, natural gas imports increased by an average of approximately 12 per cent per year. 2013 was the second year in a row where imports of natural gas decreased. In 2013, natural gas imports decreased by 15 per cent (4.6 billion m³ or 0.45 Bcf/d) from 2012, and in 2012, natural gas imports decreased by 1 per cent (0.3 billion m³ or 0.03 Bcf/d) from 2011.

Figure 3: Canadian Natural Gas Net Export Volumes, 2004-2013

Figure 3: Canadian Natural Gas Net Export Volumes, 2004-2013
  • In 2013, net exports of natural gas decreased to 54.3 billion m³ (5.25 Bcf/d), the lowest level in over 10 years. This is 40 per cent (40.0 billion m³ or 3.87 Bcf/d) lower than 2007 net export volumes and 2 per cent (1.3 billion m³ or 0.13 Bcf/d) lower than 2012 net exports.

Figure 4: Export Volumes by Region

Figure 4: Export Volumes by Region
  • The U.S. Midwest continued to receive the largest share of total Canadian natural gas exports, representing 53 per cent (43.1 billion m³ or 4.17 Bcf/d) of total exports. The U.S. West received 34 per cent (27.4 billion m³ or 2.65 Bcf/d) of total Canadian natural gas exports, and the U.S. East received 13 per cent (10.4 billion m³ or 1.00 Bcf/d) of total Canadian natural gas exports.
  • In 2013, exports to the U.S. West increased by approximately 6 per cent (1.6 billion m³ or 0.16 Bcf/d) from 2012.
  • In 2013, exports to the U.S. Midwest decreased by approximately 13 per cent (6.2 billion m³ or 0.60 Bcf/d) from 2012.
  • In 2013, exports to the U.S. East decreased by approximately 12 per cent (1.4 billion m³ or 0.13 Bcf/d) from 2012 due to increased U.S. production in the Marcellus Shale, displacing the need for gas from Canada.
  • Overall, Canadian natural gas exports continued to increase to U.S. West markets and continued to decrease to markets in the U.S. Midwest and U.S. East.

Prices and Revenue

Figure 5: Canadian Natural Gas Export Revenue, Import Value and Prices, 2004-2013

Figure 5: Canadian Natural Gas Export Revenue, Import Value and Prices, 2004-2013
  • In 2013, the average Canadian natural gas export price increased to $3.60/GJ (US$3.69/MMBtu), a 37 per cent increase compared to the average export price of $2.63/GJ (US$2.78/MMBtu) in 2012. Natural gas exports for 2013 were valued at $11.16 billion (US$10.84 billion), a 28 per cent increase from the value of $8.71 billion (US$8.71 billion) in 2012.
  • The average 2013 import price was $3.99/GJ (US$4.09/MMBtu), an increase of 38 per cent compared to the 2012 average import price of $2.89/GJ (US$3.05/MMBtu). Natural gas imports for 2013 were valued at $4.02 billion (US$3.90 billion), an 18 per cent increase from the 2012 import value of $3.42 billion (US$3.42 billion).

Commentary and Outlook

Although natural gas prices rebounded in 2013, and net revenues increased, the Canadian natural gas market continued to be characterized by decreasing net exports to the U.S. While net exports have been decreasing at an average rate of 10% per year between 2007 and 2012, the decrease in net exports between 2013 and 2012 was only 2 per cent.

  • Canadian marketable natural gas production has been relatively flat over the past two years, with 2013 production climbing 0.3 per cent from 2012 to an average of 397 million m³/d (14 Bcf/d). Drilling activity continues to focus on the liquids-rich gas plays in Alberta and British Columbia. Outside of the WCSB, Encana’s Deep Panuke offshore facilities started production in September and continued to ramp up, reversing the downward natural gas production trend in Eastern Canada.
  • Natural gas production, particularly from tight and shale resources, contributed to increased U.S. production despite a continued decrease from the previous year in the number of rigs targeting natural gas. In the near term, U.S. gas production will continue to grow as companies target high productivity, wet gas prospects as well as shale oil prospects that co-produce significant amounts of natural gas.
  • The 2013 price of gas at Henry Hub averaged $3.64/GJ (US$3.73/MMBtu), a 39 per cent increase from the 2012 average price of $2.61/GJ (US$2.75/MMBtu). In 2013, the price of gas in Alberta at AECO averaged $3.01/GJ (US$3.28/MMBtu), an increase of 33 per cent from the 2012 average price of $2.27/GJ (US$2.39/MMBtu).
  • Combined U.S. and Canadian LNG imports in 2013 averaged 3.8 billion m³ (0.37 Bcf/d), a 43 per cent reduction from 6.66 billion m³ (0.64 Bcf/d) in 2012.
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