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Natural Gas Production: Will B.C. Overtake Alberta?

British Columbia is set to beat Alberta to become Canada's natural gas producer by 2028, according to a new outlook by the Canadian Energy Regulator.

The outlook predicts "a significant increase in the production and use of electricity, as parts of the economy, including transportation, switches from fossil fuels to electricity and hydrogen."

“Despite total energy use declining, electricity demand grows 44% from 2021 to 2050 in the Evolving Policies Scenario, much of it from new areas such as electric vehicles and hydrogen production. Canada’s electricity system also gets greener, going from 82% low and non-emitting in 2021 to 95% in 2050.”

Half of that 44% increase comes from increased electrification in the industrial, residential, and commercial sectors.

“The other half comes from electric vehicles in transportation and the production of hydrogen," the report states.

“Wind and solar generation provide much of this additional electricity over the projection period, given their low cost. Natural gas generation is increasingly equipped with CCS (carbon capture and storage)."

In Alberta and Saskatchewan, coal power will be increasingly replaced by natural gas.

“Investment in natural gas production is spurred by assumed liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports in both scenarios,” the report states.

“In the Evolving Policies Scenario, nearly 40% of Canadian natural gas production is liquefied and exported to global markets by 2050.”

By 2050, the CER predicts natural gas production in Canada will fall by 17% - but despite this, natural gas production will shift to the Montney formation, with growth occurring more in B.C than in Alberta.

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