NEB sees growth in bitumen production through 2018

Despite budget cuts for oil sands projects, Canada’s National Energy Board reports the potential of an additional 1 million b/d in production through 2018. Current bitumen production is less than 2.5 million b/d.

Recently completed projects and those nearing completion “are expected to contribute to production increases in the coming years as they slowly grow their output towards planned capacities,” NEB said.

Lower oil prices have already affected many projects that are not as far along in their development. Major projects that have been deferred since mid-2014 include those operated by Cenovus Energy Inc., Statoil ASA, Suncor Energy Inc., Husky Energy Inc., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Pengrowth Energy Corp., and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. Those deferred projects total 527,500 b/d, NEB said.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers estimated in January that oil sands capital budgets will fall to $25 billion in 2015, a decrease of $8 billion from 2014 (OGJ Online, Jan. 22, 2015).

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