Canadian natural gas production continues to rise

Canadian shale production at the Montney formation. Encana photo.

With existing technology, amount of remaining marketable natural gas estimated at 1,225 trillion cubic feet

Canadian marketable natural gas production has remained steady in the last few years despite declining natural gas prices since 2014, according to data from the National Energy Board.

In 2016 production was 431 million cubic metres per day (106m3/d) or 15.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). By 2040 production is projected to increase 11% to 480 106m3/d (16.9 Bcf/d) due to rising gas prices and production from new wells outpacing production declines from older wells.

Production from the Montney Formation, a large gas resource extending from northeast British Columbia into northwestern Alberta, has grown significantly over the past five years.

Montney tight gas production increased from no production prior to 2006 to almost 128 106m3/d (4.5 Bcf/d) in 2016 – 30% of total Canadian natural gas production.

Over the next 25 years the majority of Canadian production growth is projected to come from the Montney, with its production reaching 223 106m3/d (7.9 Bcf/d) in 2040.

Production from conventional and coalbed methane natural gas resources – which do not rely on horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing – declines steadily over the projection period.

Canada has abundant natural gas resources. With existing technology, the amount of remaining marketable natural gas available to be developed as of the end of 2016 is estimated at 1 225 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) or over 200 years of supply at current production levels.

From 2017 to 2040 total production is projected to be 135 Tcf which is just 11% of the potential 1 225 Tcf. See the Board’s latest report on natural gas production for a breakdown of resource by type of gas and area, as well as additional production details.

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