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Natural gas in Canada - Statistics & facts

In Canada, natural gas is primarily sourced from reservoirs in the South West part of the country. The hydrocarbon gas mainly consists of methane and is largely used for energy generation. By-products from processing natural gas such as ethane and propane serve as feedstocks in the chemicals industry and for plastics manufacturing specifically. Canada ranks sixth in a list of the largest natural gas producers worldwide.

Largest share of natural gas reserves located in British Columbia

Despite technological advances making unconventional extraction viable, Canadian natural gas reserves have declined from a peak of nearly 2.8 trillion cubic meters in 1985 to just over two trillion cubic meters in 2019. Most marketable reserves are found in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin in the province of British Columbia. Canada had two offshore projects off the coast of Nova Scotia until late 2018, with platforms currently being decommissioned. However, estimates suggest natural gas reservoirs still hold potential and some companies have held on to their exploration licenses. Over 800 new gas wells were completed in Canada in 2019.

Marketable natural gas production declines in 2019

That same year, daily average marketed gas production reached 452 million cubic meters, which was lower than the volumes extracted in the 1990s and early 2000s. Exports came to an annual total of nearly 77 billion cubic meters, with the United States as its only natural gas trading partner. Canada is currently looking to expand trading opportunities by building LNG export terminals in British Columbia to allow for shipping to Asian consumer markets.

Enbridge Inc, the midstream company that owns the country’s largest natural gas distribution network, is also Canada’s leading oil and gas company based on revenues.

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Natural gas industry in Canada

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