indicatorThe Owl

Natural gas not keeping up with oil

While oil production in Alberta is higher than ever, natural gas production is lower than 20 years ago

By Rob Roach, ATB Economics 14 October 2022 1 min read

Tuesday’s Owl looked at how crude oil production in Alberta has been growing over the last decade and how we are producing more oil in the province than ever before.

It has, unfortunately, been a different story for natural gas in Alberta. While still a major component of the provincial economy, marketable natural gas production in Alberta in August 2022 was about 19% lower than the same month twenty years ago.

It’s not a lack of natural gas in the ground that has led to the decline, but the spike in North American supply enabled by fracking technology.

A lack of meaningful access to overseas markets via liquified natural gas (LNG) export infrastructure has, moreover, kept Alberta locked into the well-supplied North American market.

On the bright side, year-to-date production (January to August) in 2022 is the highest it has been since 2010.

The increase has been spurred by the European gas crisis and rising prices in both North America and around the world.

How long the higher prices and elevated demand will last is unclear, but the current situation highlights the potential for more exports from Alberta and Canada if the transportation challenges can be overcome.

Answer to the previous trivia question: The common loon is not Canada’s official national bird. The Royal Canadian Geographical Society chose the gray jay to be Canada’s national bird, but the federal government has not officially recognized it or any other avian species as Canada’s national bird.

Today’s trivia question: LNG stands for liquified natural gas. What does NGL stand for and is it something different?

Monthly marketable natural gas production in Alberta has been higher so far in 2022 than it was in 2021

Monthly marketable natural gas production in Alberta has been higher so far in 2022 than it was in 2021

Economics News

Subscribe and get a quick daily snapshot of what’s happening in Alberta’s economy

Need help?

Our Client Care team will be happy to assist.

Chat now
ATB Virtual Assistant
The ATB Virtual Assistant doesn't support landscape mode. Please tilt your device vertically to portrait mode.