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Move Over Canada, U.S. Shale Gas is Here to Stay

Canada Natural Gas

A Canadian Energy Research Institute survey has found that the country’s natural gas exports will continue to slide over the coming years, with their market share eaten up increasingly by the U.S. Canada’s southern neighbor is fast on track of becoming a net exporter of the commodity, with a saturated domestic market, which has been the main traditional destination of Canadian gas.

CERI says that exports from Western Canada, the country’s most gas-rich region, which accounts for the bulk of exports, will gradually drop to a billion cubic ft per day in four years, pressured by low international and domestic gas prices resulting from oversupply. It won’t be until 2037 that daily export volumes will recover to three billion cubic ft.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not from an oncoming as-powered train: Canada will continue to be a net exporter of gas over the next 20 years, CERI said, especially if new LNG projects take off. These may contribute some 4 billion cubic ft per day to overall gas exports beginning in 2021.

Related: Oil Bust Continues To Take Its Toll On Canadian Economy

To put the projected export figures in perspective, at present Canada exports an estimated 4 billion cubic ft per day. That’s down from 11 billion cubic ft ten years ago. Production of natural gas in Canada, at the same time, is projected by the institute to rise from 14.4 billion cubic ft per day last year to 21 billion cubic ft in 20 years, with the growth spurred by domestic consumption mainly.

The central bank of Canada recently released its latest quarterly survey of business sentiment, which revealed that Canadian companies are, on the whole, guardedly optimistic for the near term. While the services sectors are relatively upbeat about new investments and creating new jobs, those in goods and energy are of a more pessimistic mood, not planning a lot of new investments and many of them preparing for further cost cuts. In short, the country is still suffering from the fallout of the commodity price rout and the situation in international gas markets is clearly not helping it get over it.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Ness on July 06 2016 said:
    Yet the Saskatchewan government who uses our power utilities continues to burn coal and spend billions on carbon capture rather than convert our power plants to natural gas. Makes sense ........

    Saskatchewan is a province in western Canada for those that are wondering
  • JHM on July 06 2016 said:
    Maybe the light at the end of the tune should come from a train. Export LNG is not the answer. It will be the market of last resort for oversupplied producers everywhere.

    Canadian and US gas needs to move seriously into the domestic transport markets. Power trains, ships and trucks with LNG.
  • Joe on July 06 2016 said:
    Good article. The best potential for the growth of gas consumption in a Canada is in the the province of Alberta where the left leaning NDP provincial government has mandated the eventual retirement of all coal burning power plants.

    As for LNG, there are still huge hold ups from environmental and various other groups. Will be many years before we see the first Canadian LNG export, but never say never.

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