Canada is the world’s third-largest producer and the fourth-largest exporter of natural gas. In the past, most of Canada’s natural gas came from natural gas sources primarily located in Western Canada. Recent advances in technology allow for the development of additional new sources that have greatly increased the supply outlook for natural gas in both Canada and the United States. These newly accessible natural gas resources have been called a “game changer.” North America now has more than a century of natural gas supply at current usage levels.
Canada produces about two times the amount of natural gas needed for its domestic market each year. Surplus natural gas is exported to the United States through an integrated pipeline network. In recent years, natural gas exports to the United States have declined as domestic American natural gas production from unconventional sources has increased.
Natural gas use in traditional markets, such as residential and commercial buildings, is declining on a per-customer basis. This change is because of the increased efficiency of furnaces, appliances, and industrial equipment, as well as better insulated and sealed buildings. There are a number of new market opportunities for natural gas, including supporting renewable resources such as wind, solar, and geothermal, expanded use in power generation, transportation, and export to the Asian market. The abundance of Canada’s natural gas resources can support a range of new market opportunities.