Gas markets should see sustained growth from now until 2015,according to a study just completed by the Canadian Energy ResearchInstitute (CERI). Demand is projected to grow in all markets withthe highest growth rates coming from use of gas for powergeneration.

“Annual growth in gas demand averages 2.2% in Canada and 1.8% inthe Lower-48,” the report said. “Core market demand for gas isprojected to rise by roughly 1.1% in both Canada and the Lower 48states,” CERI said. “Strong growth rates in other sectors cause thecore market share of North American gas to fall gradually over theperiod.”

CERI’s North American Natural Gas Long-Term Outlook: Market andTransportation Opportunities found western Canadian gas productionwill be able to meet the demands of increased Canada-to-U.S.pipeline capacity, long term.

“I think it’s important to note that, according to this study,the planned capacity from western Canada to the Midwest U.S.appears to be sufficient to get the Alberta basin reconnected tothe North American supply demand balance,” said Len Coad, CERI vicepresident for North American gas and electricity. He said anotherimportant point is the need for increased takeaway capacity fromthe Midwest to the Northeast, an issue a number of pipelines haveprojects in the works to address. “Our study is suggesting thatthere’s good reason for those projects and that those projects arean important part of re-balancing the North American industrylong-term.”

The CERI study also supports development of eastern Canadareserves off the coast of Nova Scotia. “Our study results stronglysupport connecting that new supply basin to the northeast and developing a market in Atlantic Canada. There currentlyis not natural gas east of Quebec [province], so that project isgoing to develop some local market and bring significant volumesinto the New England market, and our study suggests that thatproject will be well received.”

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