Market Snapshot: The NEB projects increased propane production from natural gas processing

Release date: 2019-07-24

In the Reference Case of a recent report, the National Energy Board (NEB) projects Canada’s propane production will increase 63% from 2017 to 2040. Most production growth will be from increased natural gas production, because most of Canada’s propane supply comes from processing natural gas.




Figure 1: Projected Propane Supply and Disposition through 2040

Source and Description

Source: NEB

Description: The stacked area charts show propane supply (which includes production from gas processing, production from refineries, production from oil sands off-gas, and imports) and disposition (which includes other Canada demand, exports, Alberta petrochemical demand, oil sands solvent demand, and Ontario petrochemical demand) projected through 2040 in the Reference, Low Price, High Price, and Technology Cases

In 2010, Canadian propane supply was 180 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d). In 2018, Canadian propane supply was 264 Mb/d. In 2010, Canadian propane disposition was 192 Mb/d. In 2018, Canadian propane disposition was 264 Mb/d. The following numbers are some of the projections in each case:

  • Reference Case: In 2025, Canadian propane supply is projected to be 290 Mb/d. In 2040, Canadian propane supply is projected to be 403 Mb/d. In 2025, Canadian propane disposition is projected to be 290 Mb/d. In 2040, Canadian propane disposition is projected to be 403 Mb/d.
  • Low Price Case: In 2025, Canadian propane supply is projected to be 243 Mb/d. In 2040, Canadian propane supply is projected to be 261 Mb/d. In 2025, Canadian propane disposition is projected to be 243 Mb/d. In 2040, Canadian propane disposition is projected to be 261 Mb/d.
  • High Price Case: In 2025, Canadian propane supply is projected to be 309 Mb/d. In 2040, Canadian propane supply is projected to be 498 Mb/d. In 2025, Canadian propane disposition is projected to be 309 Mb/d. In 2040, Canadian propane disposition is projected to be 498 Mb/d.
  • Technology Case: In 2025, Canadian propane supply is projected to be 279 Mb/d. In 2040, Canadian propane supply is projected to be 277 Mb/d. In 2025, Canadian propane disposition is projected to be 279 Mb/d. In 2040, Canadian propane disposition is projected to be 277 Mb/d.

In the early 2020s, the NEB projects a shift in disposition (or demand) for Canadian propane. Alberta’s petrochemical demand is projected to grow, outpacing the growth in propane production. This also shrinks the propane available for exports. However, in the later years, the propane production is projected to grow, and with it, the projected exports also grow. Overall, export demand continues to be strong throughout the projection period given growing U.S. petrochemical demand, U.S. propane exports, and exports off Canada’s west coast. Altagas and Vopek’s Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal near Prince Rupert, B.C. began exporting in mid-2019. Pembina’s Prince Rupert Terminal in Watson Island, B.C., is scheduled to begin exporting in the mid-2020s.

Explore propane supply and disposition for the remaining price cases in the interactive chart above and in the report Canada’s Energy Future 2018 Supplement: Natural Gas Liquids Supply and Disposition. NGL supply and disposition data is also available in the report figures and appendices [EXCEL 13170 KB].

 

Date modified: