Most of the Canadian natural gas supply comes from conventional natural gas deposits located in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin. This geological formation covers Alberta and parts of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. It is considered to be a mature source of natural gas with production projected to decline over the next several decades. The Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin contributed for 90% of the Canadian natural gas production in 2011.
Natural gas from conventional deposits is found in sandstone or limestone formations. These formations are very porous. By drilling a vertical gas well, the gas reservoir is accessed and gas flows freely to the surface. Natural gas from conventional deposits is often found along with oil. Gas streams produced from oil and gas reservoirs contain natural gas, liquids, and other substances. These streams are processed to separate the natural gas from the liquids and to remove contaminants.
Canada’s National Energy Board forecasts that declining production from conventional natural gas sources will be more than offset by increased production from unconventional gas sources including shale and tight gas. Continent-wide, it is estimated that there is more than 100 years of natural gas supply at current demand levels.