Introduction

Alberta’s Natural Gas Vision and Strategy lays out a plan for Alberta to become a global supplier of clean, responsibly sourced natural gas and related products, including hydrogen, petrochemicals, and recycled plastics. The strategy shows the government’s actions to support the long-term growth and strength of the industry on its way to being a global competitor across multiple sectors.

Canada is among the world’s top five producers of natural gas, with about two-thirds of this production coming from Alberta. The industry employs tens of thousands of Albertans and has the potential to generate billions of dollars each year in revenue. Alberta is also well positioned to expand into new and exciting areas for growth in the natural gas sector.

A healthy and competitive natural gas sector is vital to the jobs and prosperity of all Albertans, and can play a major role in helping meet the growing global demand for sustainable energy. New ways to get the most value out of our natural gas reserves can help diversify our energy sector and help Alberta’s economic recovery.

Invigorating natural gas

Support for the strategy includes;

  • Advocating for natural gas development in Canada
  • Pursuing investment and improving competitiveness
  • Setting up world-class environmental frameworks
  • Enabling investment and involvement across the whole natural gas value chain

There are five sectors of the natural gas industry that have great potential for growth which are highlighted in the strategy: petrochemical manufacturing, hydrogen, Alberta industrial demand, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and the plastics circular economy. In each sector, the Alberta government has set a goal for the future.

Petrochemicals

Alberta becomes a global top 10 producer of Petrochemicals, and expands and diversifies the current portfolio of products manufactured.

  • Alberta has one of the most established petrochemical manufacturing centres in Canada with room for potential growth in new and expanded facilities.
  • According to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association, there is an opportunity to grow Alberta’s petrochemical sector by more than $30 billion by 2030, resulting in more than 90,000 direct and indirect jobs over the construction and operation periods of new facilities, and more than $10 billion in revenue for the Government of Alberta from corporate and personal income taxes.

Hydrogen

Large-scale hydrogen production with carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) and deployment in various commercial applications across the provincial economy by 2030. Exports of hydrogen and hydrogen-derived products to jurisdictions across Canada, North America, and globally are in place by 2040.

  • Global demand for hydrogen is projected to increase at least tenfold in the coming decades.
  • The Hydrogen Council estimates that by 2050, the global hydrogen sector could generate US$2.5 trillion per year and create 30 million jobs.
  • Alberta has several advantages in the production of “blue” hydrogen, which is made with ultra-low emissions by upgrading natural gas. The carbon by-product generated from this process can then be captured and permanently sequestered underground or used for another purpose.

Alberta Industrial Demand

Intra-Alberta demand for natural gas and natural gas liquids grows with increased investment in midstream natural gas processing infrastructure. Natural gas transmission and distribution infrastructure additions occur faster, improving industrial performance and growth.

  • Natural gas and natural gas liquids are fundamental inputs to Alberta’s electricity, oil sands and other industrial sectors, including the petrochemicals, cement, and the greenhouse industries.
  • These sectors represent over half of Alberta’s domestic natural gas demand and are expected to grow.

LNG

Alberta’s natural gas has access to Asian and European markets through two to three additional mega LNG projects by 2030.

  • Shipping from Canada’s West Coast to markets in Asia takes half the time than from the U.S. Gulf Coast (10 days versus 20), while proposed projects in Eastern Canada are six to eight shipping days from Europe, which is less than any other North American LNG projects.
  • LNG can help reduce carbon emissions in a number of countries as coal plants are replaced with cleaner natural gas.

Circular Plastics Economy

Alberta is established as the Western North America centre of excellence for plastics diversion and recycling by 2030.

  • A circular economy is one where the full value of a plastic product is used across multiple lifecycles, not just used once and discarded into landfills or waterways.
  • According to a report by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), 86 per cent of plastics were landfilled in 2016. This represents a C$7.8-billion lost opportunity.
  • A study completed by Eunomia Research and Consulting indicated 4,500 direct full-time equivalent jobs are created in the province as a result of existing recycling activities with a further 1,600 indirect and 1,400 induced jobs, for a total of 7,500 jobs.

Strategy actions

Contact

Connect with the Natural Gas Branch:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)

Address:
Alberta Energy
Natural Gas Branch
6th Floor, North Petroleum Plaza
9945 108 Street*
Edmonton, Alberta  T5K 2G6

*Courier, please report to the 2nd floor.