Updated June 2023
Figure S1.6 shows the historical and forecast AECO-C natural gas price.
The average annual price of AECO-C natural gas was Cdn$5.10 per gigajoule (GJ) in 2022, representing an increase of 51 per cent from 2021. The AECO-C base-case price is projected to decrease to Cdn$2.16/GJ in 2023, rising to Cdn$2.59/GJ in 2024 and reaching Cdn$3.48/GJ by 2032. Based on the low- and high-price cases, prices are projected to range from Cdn$1.80/GJ to Cdn$6.73/GJ by the end of the forecast period.
Natural gas prices, including AECO-C and Henry Hub, increased throughout 2022. The price differential between AECO-C and Henry Hub widened to US$2.38 per million British thermal units (MMBtu), up from US$0.89/MMBtu in 2021.
Forecast for 2023 to 2032
Exports and market access: Natural gas exports from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin to Eastern Canada and the U.S. increased in 2022. However, exports to the U.S. will likely decline over the remaining forecast period as U.S. natural gas production is projected to increase. British Columbia liquified natural gas (LNG) exports are expected to increase market access for Canadian natural gas in the latter part of the forecast period.
Domestic demand: Alberta’s demand for natural gas is anticipated to increase over the forecast period, driven by the increasing use of natural gas in power generation, petrochemical plants, hydrogen plants and oil sands projects. Also, demand for natural gas in propane dehydrogenation plants is expected to grow.
Low- and High-Price Cases
The low- and high-price cases capture the near- and long-term volatility of the AECO C price and are estimated using a 90 per cent confidence interval. The following factors affect the price cases:
- North American demand is less than expected due to an economic slowdown.
- North American natural gas production grows faster than expected.
- Pipeline expansions and LNG projects are delayed or cancelled.
- Oil sand demand growth is constrained due to project deferrals.
- Economic rebound is rapid, and demand increases faster than anticipated from the oil and gas industry and electricity sectors.
- North American natural gas production grows slower than expected.
- North American LNG capacity rises faster than expected.