Better prices and new pipelines expected to drive higher Canadian crude output

Better prices and new pipelines expected to drive higher Canadian crude output

CALGARY — The Canadian Energy Research Institute says a pipeline capacity gap that is impeding the movement of Western Canada’s crude to market will close by 2021 and there will be surplus capacity from about 2022 until 2030.

In a forecast based on financial modelling, the Calgary-based think-tank calls for the Enbridge Line 3 and Trans Mountain expansion pipelines to open in about two years, followed by the Keystone XL pipeline about a year later.

It predicts crude oil production will jump to 7.2 million barrels per day by 2038 from 4.2 million bpd last year, aided by thirsty markets that will drive global oil prices above US$100 per barrel by 2030.

CERI says oil production growth will come mainly from the oilsands, which will build from the current 2.65 million barrels per day to just under 5.5 million bpd by 2038.

Its oil production forecast is higher than one released last week by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which predicted based on surveys of its members that Canadian oil output will increase to 5.6 million bpd by 2035 as oilsands production rises to 4.2 million bpd.

CERI foresees a much darker future for natural gas, with rising production from shale gas wells in the U.S. replacing western Canadian gas in its traditional markets of Eastern Canada, the eastern U.S. and, eventually, mid-continent U.S.

CERI president Allan Fogwill says gas production will fall from current levels of about 16.5 billion cubic feet per day to about 15 bcf/d over the next two decades unless LNG export facilities are built to send gas to new markets overseas.

About 14 liquefied natural gas processing facilities have been proposed for the West Coast but none is being built as yet.

 

The Canadian Press

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