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Natural gas transport and distribution systems, 2017

Released: 2019-02-19

The Canadian natural gas distribution and transport pipeline industry posted total operating revenues of $18.0 billion in 2017, up 2.9% compared with 2016. Total operating expenses increased 4.8% from the previous year to $14.2 billion in 2017. As a result, the net revenue from operations was $3.8 billion.

Several factors contributed to the increases in operating revenues and expenses, including higher natural gas receipts, rising industrial prices and stronger deliveries. For 2017, Canadian oil and natural gas companies reported 166.3 billion cubic metres of natural gas receipts from fields and plants, up 4.1% compared with 2016.

According to Statistics Canada's Raw Materials Price Index, the average annual price of natural gas rose 8.7% from 2016. Additionally, deliveries of natural gas to the residential, commercial and industrial sectors were up 2.8%.

Exports of natural gas to the United States were also higher in 2017. Transport pipelines exported 84.7 billion cubic metres of natural gas to the United States, up 3.3% compared with the previous year, also contributing to the increase in operating revenues.

Balance sheet: Higher assets

In 2017, Canadian natural gas pipeline companies reported total assets of $127.1 billion, up 5.8% compared with 2016. Of this total, fixed assets and total investments amounted to $113.1 billion, up 6.0%. Total current assets increased 6.5% from 2016 to $6.8 billion.

Total liabilities were $91.0 billion, an increase of 6.9% compared with 2016. Total long-term debt represented the largest share of total liabilities at $63.2 billion (-3.1%). Total shareholder equity increased 3.1% to $36.1 billion in the Canadian natural gas distribution and transport pipeline industry.

  Note to readers

The Natural Gas Transport and Distribution Annual survey is a census that collects data on the financial, employment and operating activities of natural gas transport pipelines and distribution systems operating in Canada.

The survey collects financial and operating statistics on Canadian companies primarily engaged in natural gas distribution (North American Industry Classification System 221210) or in natural gas pipeline transportation (North American Industry Classification System 486210). More specifically, the survey collects financial, employment, income and balance sheet information, as well as engineering and operating statistics.

Transport pipelines include gathering pipelines and transmission pipelines. Gathering pipelines collect natural gas from fields and plants. The gathered gas is then fed into large transmission pipelines that either deliver to distribution systems or to industrial consumers, such as oil and gas producers or power plants. In Canada, transport systems originate near the major gas producing regions of British Columbia and Alberta.

Distribution systems are pipeline networks that deliver gas directly to residential, commercial and industrial consumers. All the largest cities in Canada are serviced by natural gas distributors.

Data referenced in the release are from tables 18-10-0034-01, 25-10-0059-0 and 25-10-0058-01.

Data for 2016 have been revised.

Data are available upon request.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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