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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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Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.