Market Snapshot: Western Canadian conventional, tight, and shale oil production is expected to steadily grow to 2040

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Release date: 2020-02-19

In Canada’s Energy Future 2019 (EF2019) the Canada Energy Regulator projectsFootnote 1 western Canadian conventional, tight, and shale oil productionFootnote 2 will steadily increase through 2040.

In 2019 53% of the conventional, tight, and shale oil produced in western Canada was heavy. The share of heavy oil production is projected to climb slightly in the near term as Saskatchewan ramps up some thermal heavy oil projects. The share of heavy oil production falls to 52% by 2040 as production from those projects level off and growth in light oil outpaces growth in heavy oil (not including heavy oil production from the oil sands).

Figure 1. Western Canadian Conventional, Tight, and Shale Oil Production

Source and Description

Source: EF2019

Description: The stacked area chart shows projected conventional, tight, and shale (non-oil sands) oil production, split by heavy and light, in the western provinces through 2040.

  • Western Canada by Type and Class: In 2010, western Canadian conventional, tight, and shale (non-oil sands production) was 933 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d). In 2019, non oil sands production was 1 089 Mb/d. In 2030, non-oil sands production is projected to be 1 358 Mb/d. In 2040, non oil sands production is projected to be 1 599 Mb/d, of which 52% is heavy and 48% is light. 2040’s production split out by type of oil, is 47% conventional, 48% tight, and 5% shale.
  • British Columbia (B.C.): In 2010, B.C. oil production was 22 Mb/d. In 2019, B.C. oil production was 22 Mb/d. In 2030, B.C. oil production is projected to be 35 Mb/d. In 2040, B.C. oil production is projected to be 45 Mb/d, of which 95% is light tight and 5% is light conventional.
  • Alberta: In 2010, Alberta non oil sands production was 459 Mb/d. In 2019, Alberta non oil sands production was 504 Mb/d. In 2030, Alberta non oil sands production is projected to be 583 Mb/d. In 2040, Alberta non oil sands production is projected to be 698 Mb/d, of which 54% is light tight, 20% is light conventional, 12% is light shale, 10% is heavy conventional and 3% is heavy tight.
  • Saskatchewan: In 2010, Saskatchewan oil production was 422 Mb/d. In 2019, Saskatchewan oil production was 529 Mb/d. In 2030, Saskatchewan oil production is projected to be 718 Mb/d. In 2040, Saskatchewan oil production is projected to be 834 Mb/d, of which 11% is light tight, 63% is heavy conventional, and 26% is heavy tight.
  • Manitoba: In 2010, Manitoba oil production was 30 Mb/d. In 2019, Manitoba oil production was 35 Mb/d. In 2030, Manitoba oil production is projected to be 22 Mb/d. In 2040, Manitoba oil production is projected to be 22 Mb/d, of which 20% is light conventional and 80% is light tight.

Explore these and other charts in Canada’s Energy Future 2019 Supplemental Fact Sheet: Conventional, Tight, and Shale Production. Detailed data is also available for the report figures and fact sheet. or 33 PJ, which is about 24% of the sector’s total electricity demand.

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