A new federal-provincial study has concluded that naturas gas reserves contained in the Montney Formation that straddes British Columbia and Alberta are more than double than previously estimated, equivalent to 145 years of supply at Canada's current consumption levels.
Prepared jointly by Canada's National Energy Board, the Alberta Energy Regulator, B.C.'s newly-created Ministry of Natural Gas Development and the B.C. Oil & Gas Commission, the study assesses for the first time the unconventional petroleum resource potential of the Montney Formation. The study's findings include the following:
- the ultimate potential for unconventional petroleum in the Montney Formation is estimated at 12,719 billion m3 (449 Tcf) of marketable natural gas, 2,308 million m3 (14,521 million barrels) of marketable natural gas liquids (NGLs) and 179 million m3 (1,125 million barrels) of marketable oil;
- B.C.'s share of the Montney Formation's estimated marketable unconventional natural gas, NGL and oil reserves are 271 Tcf, 12,647 million barrels and 29 million barrels, respectively, compared to Alberta's share of 178 Tcf, 1,874 million barrels and 1,096 million barrels, respectively;
- volumes of marketable oil, located almost entirely in Alberta, remain highly uncertain as areas richest in Montney unconventional oil tend to be in shallower areas where development is less certain. Alberta's marketable NGL volumes are similarly uncertain for the same reason; and
- when combined with prior assessments of conventional natural gas resources, the study's findings indicate that the total ultimate natural gas potential in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin has more than doubled to 23,249 billion m3 (821 Tcf), with 17,898 billion m3 (632 Tcf) remaining after substracting cumulative production to the end of 2012.
The study confirms the Montney Formation's status as one of the largest natural gas resources in the world, and prompted B.C.'s Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman to state that "now, more than ever before, B.C. can supply energy needs at home and abroad. The Montney area will support economic activity in our province for a very long time as a supply hub for liquefied natural gas development."
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