2016 Natural Gas Exports and Imports Summary

For information about natural gas markets 2016, refer to the natural gas market snapshots on the NEB website. Natural gas is primarily exported by pipeline from Western Canada to the U.S. and imported into Eastern Canada by pipeline from the U.S. Small volumes of liquefied natural gas are imported by marine vessel into New Brunswick. In 2016, Canadian exports to the U.S. increased and were at the highest level since 2012. Export prices remained low however, and total export value decreased year-over-year. Canadian imports of U.S. gas also increased in 2016, but remained below the record levels of 2012. Import prices were lower compared to previous years, and total import value declined year-over-year.

Table 1: Summary of Trade

Table 1: Summary of Trade
  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Volumes (Billion m³)
Pipeline Exports 86.8 80.9 76.3 76.0 84.2
Pipeline Imports 29.5 25.5 21.4 19.2 21.9
LNG Imports 1.7 1.0 0.6 0.6 0.3
Net ExportsTable Note a 55.6 54.3 54.4 56.2 62.0
Volumes (Bcf/d)
Pipeline Exports 8.4 7.8 7.4 7.3 8.1
Pipeline Imports 2.8 2.5 2.1 1.9 2.1
LNG Imports 0.2 0.1 0.05 0.06 0.03
Net Exports 5.4 5.3 5.3 5.4 6.0
Price ($/GJ)
Pipeline Exports 2.63 3.60 5.33 3.32 2.71
Pipeline Imports 2.91 3.95 6.21 3.67 3.17
Value ($ billions)
Pipeline Exports 8.7 11.2 15.7 9.8 8.8
Pipeline Imports 3.2 3.9 5.1 2.7 2.7
Net Values 5.5 7.3 10.7 7.0 6.1

Sources: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 10 February 2017: Gas – Monthly Summary for Year (Exports and Imports); Gas & LNG – Month & YTD Summary by Port (Imports); LNG – Shipment Details (Imports); Gas – Historical Summary of Volumes and Prices (Exports and Imports).

Export and Import Volumes

Exports

In 2016, Canadian natural gas exports were sent to the U.S., mostly by pipeline with some LNG exported by truck.Footnote 1 There continued to be modest amounts of liquefied and compressed natural gas (LNG and CNG) exported by truck to the U.S. These volumes are not shown in Figure 1. The net volume of natural gas exported from Canada increased from the previous year by 10%, from 56.2 billion m³ to 62.0 billion m³ (5.4 Bcf/d to 6.0 Bcf/d). Exports increased 11%, from 76.0 billion m³ to 84.2 billion m³ (7.3 Bcf/d to 8.1 Bcf/d).

Figure 1: Historical Natural Gas Trade Volumes

Figure 1: Historical Natural Gas Trade Volumes

Sources: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 10 February 2017; Gas – Monthly Summary for Year (Exports and Imports); Gas & LNG – Month & YTD Summary by Port (Exports and Imports); and LNG – Shipment Details (Imports)

Imports

In 2016, there were modest amounts of LNG imported by marine vessel from Trinidad and Tobago and Norway and by truck from the U.S.Footnote 2 Nearly all imports of natural gas continued to be imported by pipeline. Total imports increased 12% compared to 2015, from 19.8 billion m³ to 22.2 billion m³ (1.9 Bcf/d to 2.2 Bcf/d).

Figure 2: Monthly Natural Gas Trade Volumes

Figure 2: Monthly Natural Gas Trade Volumes

Sources: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 10 February 2017; Gas – Monthly Summary for Year (Exports and Imports); Gas & LNG – Month & YTD Summary by Port (Exports and Imports); and LNG – Shipment Details (Imports)

Regional Pipeline Export Volumes and Prices

The NEB’s natural gas export data is measured at points along the international border between Canada and the U.S.

Figure 3 shows yearly Canadian pipeline exports to the U.S. West, Midwest and East regions.Footnote 3 In 2016, natural gas exports to the U.S.

  • Midwest increased 18% since 2015, from 36.6 billion m³ to 43.3 billion m³ (3.5 Bcf/d to 4.2 Bcf/d).
  • West increased 6%, from 30.1 billion m³ to 31.9 billion m³ (2.9 Bcf/d to 3.1 Bcf/d).
  • East decreased 2%, from 9.2 billion m³ to 9.0 billion m³ (0.89 Bcf/d to 0.87 Bcf/d).

Figure 3: Pipeline Export Volumes by Region

Figure 3: Pipeline Export Volumes by Region

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 10 February 2017; Gas – Historical Summary by Region

Note that the U.S. East receives the lowest volume of Canadian natural gas. However, the prices paid for gas exported to that region are typically higher (Figure 4), especially during peak winter demand periods.

Figure 4: Monthly Pipeline Export Prices by Region

Figure 5: Monthly Pipeline Export Prices by Region

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 10 February 2017; Gas – Historical Summary by Region

Values and Prices

Exports

In 2016, the value of natural gas exported by pipeline decreased 10% since the previous year, from $9.8 billion to $8.8 billion ($US 7.7 billion to $US 6.6 billion) (Figure 5). In 2016, the average price received for exports decreased 18%, from $3.32 per GJ to $2.71 per GJ (approximately $US2.76 per MMBtu to $US2.15 per MMBtu).

Figure 5: Historical Values and Prices of Natural Gas Traded by Pipeline

Figure 5: Historical Values and Prices of Natural Gas Traded by Pipeline

Source: For pipeline gas: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 10 February 2017; Gas – Historical Summary of Volumes and Prices (Exports and Imports).
The sourced link also displays $US/Imperial data.

Imports

In 2016, the value of natural gas imported by pipeline decreased 2% from $2.73 billion to $2.68 billion (approximately $US 2.1 billion to $US 2.0 billion). In 2016, the average price paid for natural gas imported by pipeline decreased 14%, from $3.67 per GJ to $3.17 per GJ (approximately $US 3.04 per MMBtu to $US 2.52 per MMBtu).

Figure 6 also shows the values and prices of natural gas on a monthly basis.

Figure 6: Monthly Values and Prices of Natural Gas Traded by Pipeline

Figure 6: Monthly Values and Prices of Natural Gas Traded by Pipeline

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 10 February 2017; Gas – Historical Summary of Volumes and Prices (Exports and Imports).
The sourced link also displays $US/Imperial data.

Export Volumes by Long Term or Short Term Authorizations

All exports of natural gas must be authorized by a long-term licence or a short-term order.Footnote 4 In 2016, there were no exports made under long-term licence (Figure 7).

Figure 7: 2016 Historical Natural Gas Export Volumes by Authorization Type

Figure 7: 2016 Historical Natural Gas Export Volumes by Authorization Type

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 10 February 2017; Gas – Historical Summary by Term

 

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