Natural gas is one of the cleanest, cheapest and most efficient sources of energy. It is a necessary component of an environmentally-friendly economy. Alberta accounts for just about 75 per cent of the natural gas produced in Canada.
It is estimated that 73 trillion cubic feet of recoverable, conventional natural gas is still beneath our feet can be extracted. Coalbed methane is natural gas found in coal seams. Alberta’s coal seams could contain as much as an additional 500 trillion cubic feet of coalbed methane. While it is not yet known how much of this coalbed methane is economically recoverable, Alberta’s natural gas supply will meet the needs of Albertans, Canadians and North Americans for the foreseeable future. Another potential unconventional gas source is shale gas which is still in the very early stages of development in Alberta. Shale gas is natural gas stored in organic rich rocks such as shale, mudstone or laminated siltstones.
Alberta Energy ensures Albertans continue to receive the full value from their gas resource by promoting and encouraging responsible exploration and development of Alberta’s natural gas resources, and calculating and collecting gas royalties.
In the 2010/11 fiscal period, Alberta received about $8.4 billion in non-renewable resource revenue accounting for 22 per cent of government revenue. In 2010/11, natural gas and by-product revenue was $1.42 billion or approximately four per cent of government revenue.
Alberta's residential and commercial sectors account for 20 per cent of the province's marketable natural gas consumption. In addition to heating homes and businesses, about 80 per cent of the natural gas consumed in Alberta is used by the industrial, electricity generation, transportation, and other sectors. Natural gas is an important raw material for the province’s oil sands and electric power generation industries, which have expanded in recent years as the result of significant investment based on availability of the resource in Alberta.