Onshore oil and gas in Canada is mostly produced in
Alberta, a region that peaked for conventional oil in 1998 and is near
peak for gas. The Athabasca oil sands in northern Alberta are Canada’s
growth opportunity. Here bitumens are trapped in shallow sands, which
may be mined and sold as bitumen or refined to make synthetic oil.
Canda's oil production will grow significanlty as a result of synthetic
oil, albeit with project delays caused by lower prices in 2009.
Canada’s offshore production originates from Newfoundland (oil) and Nova
Scotia (mostly gas). Fields developed in this harsh climate produce only
a small but increasing share of Canada's output.
Conventional gas in Alberta is near peak but coal bed methane and shale
gas are barely exploited. Potentially large volumes of oil and gas also
lie in the Arctic with onshore gas piped from the Mackenzie Delta
possibly onstream within five years.
Canada’s oil demand increased rapidly from 2000 to 2004
but, with higher prices, growth slowed and consumption has now declined
a little. Over the medium term it is expected that growth will return.
The strength of US needs ensures that large volumes of oil are exported
across the border. Although exports are now flat, they are projected to
increase as production of synthetic oil builds up after 2012.
Meanwhile gas consumption is growing rapidly, especially as more gas is
used in the refining of synthetic oil from bitumen. New gas resources
developed offshore and in the Arctic will be able to support export
volumes to the US but these will eventually begin to decline, perhaps
after 2015, as Canada demands increasing amounts of gas to fuel its own