Benefits of natural gas
One fuel, many advantages
Natural gas will play a key role in ensuring we are able to meet our energy needs of the future. Here are a few reasons why it is one of Canada's most important forms of energy:
- clean: Natural gas is the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, with 30 percent less carbon than oil and as much as 60 percent less carbon than coal. Burning natural gas in place of other fuels can reduce emissions and contribute to cleaner air quality.
- abundant: Gas resources are found in different regions of Canada, and our industry continues to find more supply. Canada has a stable secure supply of natural gas, with an estimated 100 years plus of supply at current consumption rates.
- reliable: We can access natural gas when we need it, through well-established networks of pipelines that bring natural gas safely and reliably into our homes and businesses.
- versatile: The versatility of natural gas makes it an important foundation fuel. In our homes, we burn natural gas for heating and cooking. Industry depends on natural gas to create process heat and steam, and as a raw material in making petrochemicals and fertilizers. Natural gas (either in liquefied or compressed form) is used to fuel transit buses in urban areas. The electricity sector depends on gas to produce a reliable, cost-effective, quick-firing way to generate power.
Supporting our economy
Responsible development of natural gas brings significant economic benefits to Canada, provinces and local communities, in a number of ways:
- increased government revenues: Royalties from natural gas development are significant and growing. From 2010 to 2011, natural gas royalties paid to provincial governments in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan amounted to $1.5 billion. This development is forecast to bring in $98 billion in royalties in these provinces over 25 years. These are dollars that go toward provincial funding of public services such as health care and education, as well as infrastructure like roads, hospitals and schools.
- job growth: The natural gas industry is a major employer and creates jobs.In Canada, the industry is expected to provide 317,000 jobs (direct, indirect and induced) by 2035, nearly double the number of jobs in 2010.
- community benefits: Communities benefit from drilling activity in their area through increased use of local businesses ranging from trucking to supply services to accommodation.
- energy trade: Canada is the world's third-largest exporter of natural gas. In 2010, natural gas provided $15 billion in export revenue to producers. About 90 percent of U.S. natural gas imports are from Canada.
Sources: Canadian Energy Research Institute 2011, National Energy Board, Energy Information Administration