Alberta's natural gas production in 2021 was 8.0% higher than in 2020
By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 23 February 2022 1 min read
While not as large as oil, the production and export of natural gas is a key component of Alberta’s economy.
According to the Alberta Energy Regulator, 137.8 billion cubic metres of natural gas* were produced in Alberta last year. Production in 2021 was 8.0% higher than in 2020 and 1.0% above the 10-year average.
At 40.4 billion cubic metres, the annual volume of exports to the rest of Canada in 2021 was 9.0% higher than in 2020 and 17.0% above the 10-year average.
The amount of gas flowing into the U.S. was also up last year, rising to 49.8 billion cubic metres—a 3.2% increase over 2020 and 11.0% higher than the 10-year average.
The dollar value of natural gas exports from Alberta to the U.S. was up by a whopping 117.0% last year. Driven by higher prices and helped by the increase in volume, exports to the U.S. went from $4.0 billion in 2020 to $8.7 billion in 2021.
The last time Alberta’s natural gas exports to the U.S. were higher than they were last year was in 2014 when strong prices pushed annual U.S. sales to $12.6 billion.
While the increase in export value is welcome, it is still far below the $30.7 billion peak reached in 2005 when natural gas rather than oil was the big game in town.
*Gas refers to “raw gas or marketable gas or any constituent of raw gas, condensate, crude bitumen or crude oil that is recovered in processing and that is gaseous at the conditions under which its volume is measured or estimated.”
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Today’s trivia question: What is the primary component of natural gas?