Market Snapshot: Many companies export natural gas from Canada

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Release date: 2019-11-27

Canada exports a significant amount of natural gas to the United States (U.S.). Approximately 100 companies, on average, hold authorizations from the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) that permit the exportation of natural gas from Canada. The vast majority of exporters ship natural gas by pipelines to the U.S. In 2010, nearly 120 different companies exported 8.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of natural gas by pipelines. As of August 2019, over 80 companies exported 7.5 Bcf/d.

Figure 1 shows the respective volumes exported by each company. The large number of Canadian companies exporting gas to the U.S. illustrates the degree to which Canadian and U.S. natural gas markets are integrated. Integration is just one aspect of Canada’s natural gas market.

Figure 1: Companies that export gas by pipelines and how much they export

Source and Description

Source: CER

Description: The bars show the daily average volume of natural gas exported from Canada by each company from 2010 to end of August 2019. The gas export volumes shown include: 8.9 Bcf/d of total exports in 2010, 7.3 of total exports in Bcf/d in 2015, and 7.5 Bcf/d of total exports from January to August 2019.

The line shows the number of companies that exported natural gas from Canada each year from 2010 to 2018, and in 2019, up to the end of August. An average of around 100 companies export gas each year, including partial data in 2019. In most years, the top three gas exporting companies include: Tenaska Marketing Canada, BP Canada Energy Company, and BP Canada Energy Group ULC. Among the number of companies shown exporting natural gas, there were: 117 companies in 2010, 107 companies in 2015, and 83 companies from January to August 2019.

Natural gas from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin is exported from 5 main export points to markets in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and U.S. Midwest. Almost 30% of exported gas is exported on the Foothills BC pipeline, at Kingsgate, British Columbia. Over 20% on the Alliance pipeline at the Elmore, Saskatchewan export point. The remaining gas leaves Canada from Emerson, Manitoba (from TC Energy’s Canadian Mainline); Huntingdon, British Columbia from the BC Pipeline; Monchy, Saskatchewan (from the Foothills SK pipeline); and from several other export points to a lesser degree (‘Other’).

Figure 2: Where Canada’s natural gas is exported from (2019)

Source and Description

Source: CER

Description: this pie chart shows that, from January to August 2019, most natural gas was exported from Canada at the following export points: Kingsgate, BC (29%), Elmore, SK (21%), Monchy, SK (14%), Emerson, MB (12%), Huntingdon, BC (11%), and Other (13%).

The CER must authorize all natural gas exported from Canada, and companies are required to report export volumes each month. Natural gas export volumes by company are published by the CER: Commodity Statistics.Footnote 1 Aggregated natural gas export values and prices are also available from Commodity Statistics.

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