NEB: Canadian LNG exports possible in 2019

With production of natural gas expected to grow from shales and other tight formations, Canada should be able to export LNG beginning in 2019, says the National Energy Board.

This is an assumption and not a forecast related to any particular project, NEB said in its 2013 forecast of energy markets to 2035. As of Oct. 1, the government had issued licenses for three Canadian LNG export projects and was reviewing applications for five.

The NEB forecast assumes exports from the British Columbia Coast of 1 bcfd of LNG in 2019, rising to 2 bcfd in 2021 and 3 bcfd by 2023.

Key uncertainties about the outlook for LNG, NEB says, include North American gas prices, competition from other LNG suppliers, the pace of LNG demand growth, and the ability of project sponsors to secure contracts from buyers.

Production outlook

The NEB expects the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) to continue dominating the country’s gas production, with a strong shift toward output from shale and other tight formations and toward British Columbia.

Virtually all of the projected 17.4 bcfd of gas prduction for Canada in 2035 will come from the basin as small amounts now produced Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan fade.

Gas production from WCSB tight formations rises to 10.9 bcfd in 2035 from 5.8 bcfd in 2013 in the NEB forecast and from shales to 4.8 bcfd from 400 MMcfd in the same period.

Over the forecast period, gas production from British Columbia rises to 10.7 bcfd from 3.4 bcfd as output from Alberta falls to 6.6 bcfd from 9.1 bcfd.

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