Canadian Oil Sands Set for 15% Output Boost Says S&P Global

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As Canadian oil sands companies pour money into optimization and efficiency, S&P Global Commodity Insights has upgraded its 10-year output for a 15% increase in oil sands production by 2030. 

In a Thursday report, S&P Global said it now expected Canadian oil sands to produce 3.8 million barrels per day by 2030-or 500,000 barrels per day more than currently-due to optimization efforts. 

The 15% increase compares to S&P Global’s earlier forecast that oil sands would see a 3% increase in production by 2030. Barrel-by-barrel, a 100,000-bpd increase in production was anticipated earlier, compared to the revised forecast of a 500,000-bpd output increase in that time period. 

Currently, the S&P Global report notes, Canadian oil sands production has risen by 1.3 million bpd in the past decade, hitting 3.3 million bpd as of Q2 2024. 

The change in the forecast comes amid what S&P Global describes as “producers’ ongoing focus on maximizing existing assets through investments in optimization and efficiency”.

“Oil sands production continues to grow despite concerns about the advancing federal oil gas emissions cap’s potential impact on production,” Celina Hwang, Director, North American Crude Oil Markets, S&P Global Commodity Insights, said in a press release.  Towards the end of this decade, however, production will peak as optimization projects slow, pipeline infrastructure lags and uncertainty over government policy with relation to the energy transition and fossil fuels emissions remains. Oil sands are falling under increasingly tight scrutiny for being the dirtiest form of crude oil extracted. A Canadian government scientist earlier this year led a team to measure carbon emissions from oil sands projects using new technology to determine real pollution. The results surpassed emissions reported by the industry itself ; by over 6,000% in some cases, with one oil sands project allegedly shown to be emitting more carbon than an entire American megacity. Canada, the fourth-largest oil producer in the world, sees over 66% of its oil output come from the oil sands of Alberta.

By Charles Kennedy for

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