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    TC Energy Sees 40% Growth in NorAm Gas Supply


Montney in Canada, Appalachia in US lead supply growth potential

by: Dale Lunan

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TC Energy Sees 40% Growth in NorAm Gas Supply

TC Energy, the Canadian-based energy infrastructure development giant, expects to see a 40%  increase in North America’s natural gas supply by 2040, officials said November 17 at the company’s virtual investor day webcast.

Tracy Robinson, TC Energy’s executive vice president and president of its Canadian natural gas pipelines business, said new technologies – largely horizontal drilling and multi-stage fracking in previously inaccessible natural gas horizons – have dramatically increased the resource potential of North America’s natural gas basins since 2007. At the same time, natural gas production costs have fallen significantly, she said, improving the global competitiveness of natural gas.

The natural gas resource potential of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB), Robinson said, has increased to about 1,383 trillion ft3 in 2019 from 165 trillion ft3 in 2007 as producers have developed the Montney and other shale gas horizons, while the resource potential of the Appalachian Basin in the US, which includes the Marcellus and Utica shale gas plays, has increased to 3,496 trillion ft3 from 1,147 trillion ft3.

TC Energy says total North American gas supply could, if that rate is maintained, grow to about 155bn ft3/day by 2040 from about 110bn ft3/day in 2020. The gains come mostly from the WCSB, the Appalachian Basin and the associated gas resources of the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico.

Over the same timeframe, Robinson said, North American gas demand is projected to increase to more than 140bn ft3/day from about 100bn ft3/day, driven largely by power generation, as utilities move away from coal, and LNG exports.

Canadian demand, she said, will increase to nearly 25bn ft3/day by 2040 from about 15bn ft3/day this year, driven by the power generation and LNG export markets and by demand for thermal energy in Alberta’s oil sands region. TC Energy already moves about 25% of all the natural gas transported in North America.