B.C.’s natural gas bonanza

With a switch from oil to natural gas, North America could be energy independent. The immediate plans of natural gas producers in B.C. is to support a pipeline to Kitimat so the gas can be sold to Asia. However, there is movement in the U.S. to encourage the use on natural gas in transportation. (See previous posts)

What energy crisis? Despite what you may be hearing about a global peak in oil production, waning reserves, and $100-plus oil prices, North America is suddenly awash in fossil fuel….

“Natural gas will displace coal. It will displace oil,” said Mike Graham, Canadian foothills division president for Calgary-based gas giant EnCana. “There is no reason North America shouldn’t be energy self-sufficient if we can displace a lot of the oil with natural gas.”

British Columbia is emerging as a major player in this new enterprise.

Gas exploration and development companies, all the way from obscure juniors to global giants like ExxonMobil, have scrambled into northeast B.C. in the past three years, desperate to reserve a piece of the Horn River and Montney shale plays (or underground geologic formations) that are perceived as two of the most lucrative on the continent.

Since 2006, at least 19 companies have paid B.C. $3.65 billion to lock up large land positions in one or both of those areas, and the price per hectare has climbed three- to five-fold.

The total estimated volume of shale gas in B.C. is as much as 1,000 trillion cubic feet — enough to supply all of North America for 40 years, although the volume of gas that can be economically extracted is likely to be substantially lower


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