Market Snapshot: Canadian oil production outside Alberta showing different trends

Release date: 2017-02-01

Based on a combination of actual and estimated data for 2016,Footnote 1 Canada produced an average of 3 847 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d).Footnote 2 Roughly 80% (3 069 Mb/d), was produced in Alberta, while 778 Mb/d was produced in other provinces and territories. In the two most significant non-Alberta oil producing provinces, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, crude oil production in 2016 declined and grew, respectively.Footnote 3

Source and Description

Source: NEB

Description: This line graph illustrates average annual Canadian oil production from outside Alberta between 2000 and 2016. Production from Saskatchewan remained relatively flat around 425 Mb/d from 2000 to 2010 before rising and peaking at about 509 Mb/d in 2014.

Offshore production in Newfoundland and Labrador grew by 38 Mb/d in 2016 to 210 Mb/d while condensate production in Nova Scotia remained flat at 3 Mb/d between 2015 and 2016. Over the long term, Newfoundland and Labrador production was very bumpy, ranging between 144 Mb/d in 2000 and a peak of 369 Mb/d in 2007. Manitoba’s production increased from 11 Mb/d in 2000 to a peak of 55 Mb/d in 2013. Production declined to an estimated 40 Mb/d in 2016. B.C.’s production declined from 57 Mb/d in 2000 to a low of 34 Mb/d in 2009. Since 2010, B.C.’s production has grown to an estimated 61 Mb/d in 2016 due to increased condensate production.

Production in other provinces (Ontario and Nova Scotia) and the Northwest Territories (NWT) has declined from 35 Mb/d in 2000 to 13 Mb/d in 2016.

In Saskatchewan, oil production was largely flat from 2000 to 2010, and then grew from 429 Mb/d in 2011 to just under 510 Mb/d in 2014. This increase was largely due to tight oil drilling in the Bakken, Shaunavon, and Viking Formations. Drilling activity fell in 2015 and 2016 due primarily to low global oil prices, and production declined to 454 Mb/d in 2016.

Newfoundland and Labrador production has risen and fallen as old offshore projects naturally declined and new projects were added. Since 2007 it has largely been declining, from 369 Mb/d to a low of 172 Mb/d in 2015. Production in 2016 is bucking this trend with an estimated increase to 210 Mb/d due to higher production at Hibernia.

British Columbia’s oil production increased to an estimated 61 Mb/d in 2016, up 79% from 2009, mainly due to increased condensate production from liquids-rich natural gas produced from the Montney Formation.

Manitoba’s oil production rose to over 55 Mb/d in 2013, four times higher than in 2005, largely because of tight oil production from the Bakken and Lower Amaranth Formations in southwest Manitoba. Manitoba’s production has since declined due to low oil prices and is estimated to average 40 Mb/d in 2016.

The remaining provinces and territories collectively contributed about 13 Mb/d to Canada’s total production in 2016. Production in the Northwest Territories (centered around Norman Wells) has declined from 25 Mb/d in 2000 to 10 Mb/d in 2016. Condensate production in Nova Scotia remained flat at 3 Mb/d in 2016. Ontario still produces a small amount of conventional crude oil in southern Ontario, but production has declined from 4 Mb/d in 2000 to less than 1 Mb/d in 2016.

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