The Role of Natural Gas in Powering Canada’s Economy

The Conference Board of Canada, 53 pages, December 2012
Report by Pedro Antunes, Len Coad, Alicia Macdonald
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This report examines the economic contribution that natural gas exploration, production, transportation, distribution, and consumption will make to Canada’s economy between 2012 and 2035.

Document Highlights

  • Demand for Canadian natural gas will double between 2012 and 2035, driven by production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for Asian export markets and increased use of natural gas within Canada to produce electricity and to produce bitumen in the oil sands.
  • This increase in demand will drive an estimated $386 billion (in 2012 dollars) of investment. This investment will generate $364 billion in real GDP, 131,460 jobs per year, $2.5 billion per year in corporate profits, $10.7 billion per year in labour income, and $5.3 billion per year in tax revenues.
  • The investment will focus on the three western provinces that currently produce natural gas, with much of it required to develop new supplies and add infrastructure to serve LNG export markets.
  • An increase in natural gas production of just 1 billion cubic feet per day over the course of a year adds about $1.7 billion to Canada’s real GDP, supports 8,850 jobs in the Canadian economy, and improves federal and provincial balance sheets by $416 million.
  • Overall, Canada’s natural gas industry will generate roughly $940 billion in real GDP over the next 24 years and support nearly 260,000 jobs per year.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

Chapter 2—Natural Gas Markets Outlook

  • Residential, Commercial, and Public Administration
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining and Oil and Gas Production
  • Electricity Generation
  • Transportation
  • Liquefied Natural Gas
  • Bitumen Production
  • Supply/Demand Balance

Chapter 3—Natural Gas Industry Investments

  • Distribution Systems
  • LNG Liquefaction Terminals
  • Pipeline Investments
  • Natural Gas Vehicles
  • Electricity Generation
  • Upstream Natural Gas Investments

Chapter 4—Estimating the Economic Footprint of Natural Gas Industry Investments

  • Economic Impact of Investment Spending
  • Economic Footprint of Natural Gas Production
  • Summary of Economic Impacts

Chapter 5—Conclusion

Appendix A—Detailed Results of Economic Impact Analysis of Natural Gas Investment Spending by Province

Appendix B—Energy Modelling Methodology

  • Energy Prices
  • Energy Demands
  • Natural Gas Supply and Related Investments

Appendix C—Bibliography

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