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Canadian Supply Growth Pushes More Gas into US

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Producers in Western Canada are expanding output ahead of the country’s first major LNG project, pushing more natural gas into the US and adding to a market glut.  

Eastbound flows out of the AECO hub in Alberta onto the TC Mainline have averaged 4.6 Bcf/d the past three months, up 0.7 Bcf/d vs the same period last year (see blue area in chart). The increase in Mainline flows is evidence of record marketable natural gas production from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB), up 0.9 Bcf/d Y-O-Y as of December 2023, according to East Daley and CER data.  

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East Daley tracks the Western Canada market as part of our Macro Supply and Demand Forecast. The ramp in WCSB production is likely the result of producers front-running delivery ahead of the expected in-service of LNG Canada in early 2025. The start of the LNG export project in Kitimat, BC will add 1.8 Bcf/d of new demand once it reaches full capacity about 9-12 months after initial commissioning.  

In addition to LNG Canada, producers in Western Canada saw relatively high prices last year. AECO basis averaged a very strong -$0.58/MMBtu in 2023, up from an average of -$1.20/MMBtu the previous three years (2020-22), helping encourage increased production.   

The boost in Canadian flows adds to the oversupply situation in the US, as those volumes will need to find a short-term home in 2024. Flow patterns suggest shippers are seeking spare capacity, and the TC Mainline has plenty available to move supply. The increased eastbound flows on the Mainline will bring more gas to the Midwest and Dawn markets, which could face downward basis pressure this year.  

Relief should come in 2025, when LNG Canada will draw AECO gas west via Coastal GasLink. The new pipeline was mechanically completed in November 2023, according to developer TC Energy (TRP). East Daley expects TC Mainline to see reduced throughput in 2025, acting as a buffer to assist in filling feedgas volumes as LNG Canada ramps up to full capacity. – Ryan Smith Tickers: TRP. 





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