Canada has so much potential in the world’s natural gas future. Even at current consumption rates (including exports to the U.S.) it’s estimated our country has enough gas to last for over 100 years.
But where is it exactly?
There are numerous unconventional gas deposits already being explored – the Bakken formation in Saskatchewan, the Horn River basin between Alberta and B.C., as well as the Marcellus Shale which extends into Eastern Canada. Here’s a profile of the natural gas we possess across the country:
There’s an estimated 1,000 trillion cubic feet of unconventional gas beneath the Horn, Laird and Montney river basins in Northeastern B.C. That’s about 500 times the total annual gas production (conventional and unconventional) Alberta exports each year. Saskatchewan is also considered to have huge potential natural gas reserves, and is providing financial incentives to encourage its extraction. However, Alberta remains the conventional energy leader; producing 70 per cent of the country’s production. Plus, with over 167,000 unconventional wells drilled in the last 50 years, the province has a lot of experience in unconventional gas development. For all intents and purposes, the West is Canada’s energy epicentre. But the East is coming along.
Although the geology of southern Ontario is similar to the northeastern U.S., there are no indications of significant reserves. Quebec has also experienced limited exploration. New Brunswick, however, has been the subject of much interest for exploration companies. Governments in all three provinces are studying how to best extract natural gas safely and cost efficiently, while keeping the environment a top priority and also considering their legal duty to First Nations in areas of interest. However, the Marcellus Shale gas formation in New York and Pennsylvania mean these eastern provinces will never want for clean, affordable and reliable natural gas.
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