With its expansive natural resource base, western Canada has a central place in the world’s energy mix.  A key component of this mix is the region’s natural gas sector.  The Western Canada Sedimentary Basin, extending from the Canadian Shield to the Rocky Mountains through Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and northeastern British Columbia, is one of North America’s major gas-producing areas and the site of both innovative and dynamic business activity.

Alberta accounts for almost 75 per cent of the natural gas produced in Canada, making the province one the world's largest suppliers of the resource.  With increasing production in its Montney Foundation and the Horn River Basin, British Columbia is emerging as significant gas producer, currently producing 2.5 billion cubic feet of gas a day – roughly a quarter of Alberta's output.  Expanding natural gas production in Saskatchewan is a key industry driver and has contributed to sustained growth in the provincial economy.

These trends considered, several mounting industry challenges exist.  There are preliminary indications that western Canada’s natural gas industry is losing some of its lustre, beginning to slip into the shadow of the growing United States market, where new shale gas discoveries have made drilling for gas big business.  Further, along with falling natural gas prices, there is concern that the sector may become even less relevant because Alberta’s production is expected to decrease by up to 20 per cent by 2015, according to Conference Board estimates.  Together, these challenges must be examined more fully.

In this section, Insightwest seeks to shed light and ignite discussion on the realities of western Canada’s natural gas sector, by including fresh insight, links to current articles, significant industry announcements, as well as press releases from key industry stakeholders.