Natural Gas Facts

Natural gas is one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels.

Natural gas can form over time from almost any organic material. It is generally located deep underground in porous rock or trapped between more solid rock formations.

The first natural gas well was drilled in 1883 in a field near Medicine Hat, Alberta.

A gigajoule (GJ), a unit for measuring natural gas, is the energy equivalent of about 30 litres of gasoline.

The average Albertan household uses about 120 GJs of natural gas a year.

In 2014, there were 1,300 successful natural gas well connections in Alberta.

About 67 per cent of Canada’s natural gas production is from Alberta.

Alberta’s total marketable natural gas production, including coalbed methane, was 3.72 trillion cubic feet in 2014.  Alberta consumed 48 per cent (1.8 trillion cubic feet) of its marketable natural gas, with the remaining 52 per cent (1.9 trillion cubic feet) being delivered to other Canadian provinces and the United States.

Coalbed methane is natural gas found in coal seams. There may be up to 500 trillion cubic feet of coalbed methane in Alberta, although not all of this will be recoverable.

Presently, coalbed methane represents about eight per cent of total natural gas production in Alberta.

The volume of shale gas produced in Alberta in 2014 equates to less than 0.3% of total natural gas production.

Alberta has one of the most extensive natural gas systems in the world as part of its energy infrastructure, with more than 415,000 kilometres of energy related pipelines.

Natural gas in Alberta is used primarily for industrial use, electricity generation and residential and commercial space heating.

In the 2014/15 fiscal period, Alberta received about $8.95 billion in non-renewable resource revenue accounting for 20 per cent of government revenue. In 2014/15, natural gas and by-product revenue was $989 million or approximately 11 per cent of non-renewable resource revenue and 2.2 per cent of government revenue.