Oil sand production to grow by 17 percent by 2033: Alberta Energy Regulator

The report says production of raw bitumen will increase to four million barrels per day in 2033, an increase from the 3.4 million barrels per day produced in 2023.

Oil sand production to grow by 17 percent by 2033: Alberta Energy Regulator
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The Alberta Energy Regulator expects the province's oil sands production to grow by nearly 20 percent by 2033.

The regulator made the announcement in its annual forecast released this week.

The report says production of raw bitumen will increase to four million barrels per day in 2033, an increase from the 3.4 million barrels per day produced in 2023.

"Alberta remains the largest natural gas and oil producer in Canada," the report reads. "In 2023, Alberta produced 61% of Canada’s natural gas, although British Columbia’s share of marketable gas production has increased from 27% in 2013 to 37% in 2023. Alberta accounted for 84% of Canada’s oil and equivalent, with 66% being marketable bitumen in 2023," it says.

"In 2023, raw crude bitumen production in Alberta was close to 3.4 million barrels per day (106 bbl/d), representing a 3% increase from 2022."

Most of the anticipated growth is expected to come from in-situ operations, which utilize steam to extract oil from deep below the earth's surface, rather than from oil sands mines.

The AER also forecasts that global oil prices will continue to rise, with the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate projected to average US$76 per barrel this year and increase to US$83.63 by 2033.

Takeaways in 2023 included marketable bitumen production up by 4% due to takeaway capacity improvements and high oil prices, crude oil production rose by 5% as producers capitalized on high oil prices despite increased capital and inflationary operating costs, and total marketable natural gas production rose by 2%, driven by higher conventional gas production, particularly in the Foothills Front and Northwestern Alberta regions.

The regulator says that fossil fuels will remain a significant part of the global energy mix over the next decade, despite radical green efforts to transition away from them.

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