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Changing natural gas markets and Canada’s untapped potential

Global natural gas markets are growing. So why have Canada’s gas exports fallen 2.1 billion cubic feet per day over the last 10 years?

Canadian natural gas exports have decreased significantly over the last 10 years: by about 2.1 billion cubic feet per day. This decrease has occurred even as global markets for natural gas have steadily increased. Natural gas supplies 22 per cent of the energy used worldwide, and the International Energy Agency forecasts global natural gas demand will jump 46 per cent by 2040.

With a 300-year supply of natural gas, Canada has the opportunity to export its vast natural gas resources to new critical markets: a move that would generate long-term economic growth and prosperity at home. So why are Canada’s exports falling?

The United States is currently the only international customer for western Canadian natural gas. However, they have also become Canada’s largest competitor. From 2008 to 2016, the U.S. increased its natural gas production by 35 percent. So they need less Canadian natural gas. Not only that, the U.S. is well on its way to becoming a significant exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to international markets.

In 2017, the U.S. started exporting more gas than they import, selling to international customers such as Mexico, China and South Korea.

Canada’s export opportunity is within reach. Asian markets are an eight-day to an 11-day sail from proposed West Coast terminals, two days closer than most of our international competitors. Canada has the potential to provide emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, China and India with responsibly produced natural gas, expanding our export market, and securing economic benefits for all Canadians.