The natural gas industry in Canada is expected to spur more investments than seen from oil sands, according to a report from the Conference Board of Canada. The natural gas sector has the possibility to attract up to $386 billion in investments by 2035, compared to the expected $364 billion investments for oil sands.
Natural gas exploration could also produce as many jobs as oil sands development does over the same time period, according to the report, averaging 131,460 jobs annually. The majority of investments will go toward projects in British Columbia ($181 billion) and in Alberta ($154), the report stated.
The demand for natural gas in Canada will come as a result of an increase in natural gas demand for bitumen production in Alberta's oil sands, electricity generation in Alberta and Ontario and exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in British Columbia.
"What oil has been to Alberta since the 1970s-80s is what LNG is going to be for British Columbia, nothing less than that," said British Columbia Premier Christy Clark, Financial Post reported. "Energy output from LNG will likely be as big as the total energy output today from the oil sands."