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Updated June 2024


Figure S5.7 shows marketable gas demand in Alberta by sector and gas available for removal.


In 2023

Demand for natural gas in Alberta increased by 2.3% from 2022, accounting for 60% of marketable production volumes (190.4 million cubic metres per day 106 m3/d or 6.8 billion cubic feet per day [Bcf/d]). 

In 2023, natural gas demand for oil sands increased by 7.0% and for petrochemicals by 4.4%. Increasing production from oil sands and the commercial start-up of the Inter Pipeline propane dehydrogenation and polypropylene complex boosted demand in these sectors. Moreover, natural gas demand for electricity generation grew by 8% in 2023.

Forecast for 2024 to 2033

Total domestic demand for natural gas in Alberta is estimated to reach 220 106 m3/d (7.8 Bcf/d) by 2033, growing at an average annual rate of 1.5%. This growth rate is slower than the previous decade, where demand increased by an annual average of 3.2%.

Gas demand is anticipated to grow over the forecast in the following sectors:

  • Oil sands demand is expected to account for 49% of the growth over the forecast, primarily driven by increased demand from oil sands in situ operations.
  • Electricity generation is expected to account for 29% of the growth over the forecast. This demand is driven by increases in cogeneration at oil sands facilities and rising demand for power generation.
  • Other sectors combined (residential, commercial, non-oil sands industrial, and transportation) will account for the remaining growth in demand. Demand is expected to increase at an annual rate of about 0.8%, driven by economic and population growth and partially offset by energy efficiency gains. 


In 2023

Natural gas removals from Alberta (i.e., transfers to other provinces and exports to the U.S.) increased by 1.3% in 2023, as growth in marketable gas production outweighed domestic use. Moreover, completing the West Path Delivery Program in Alberta and British Columbia has contributed to enhancing connections of the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin to high-value downstream markets.

Forecast for 2024 to 2033

Removals are estimated to decrease over the forecast period to 106.8 106 m3/d (3.8 Bcf/d) by 2033, descending at an average rate of 1.5% annually. This decrease in removals will occur as demand growth is forecast to outpace production growth. Moreover, domestic demand for natural gas is expected to increase as the province will likely increase its consumption of natural gas as a transition fuel to a low carbon economy.

Completing the Coastal Gaslink pipeline in 2023 enhanced the market accessibility of natural gas from Western Canada. Alberta's natural gas is poised to compete for pipeline capacity amid increasing production from British Columbia, where producers stand to gain significantly from increased liquefied natural gas (LNG) export ventures. The anticipated rise in LNG exports and overall improvement in market accessibility are expected to benefit Alberta producers by alleviating infrastructure congestion and enhancing commodity pricing.

Learn more about natural gas pipelines in Alberta in the Pipelines section.

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