A new forecast from the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that Canadian oil production will surge between 2040 and 2050 after slow growth in the near decades as market balances shift.
That’s the reference case in the EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2019, which is described as a reasonable baseline that “reflects current trends and relationships among supply, demand, and prices in the future.”
Use of all primary energy sources grows throughout the EIA’s reference case. Although renewable energy is the world’s fastest growing form of energy, fossil fuels will continue to meet much of the world’s energy demand.
As a share of primary energy consumption, the EIA forecasts petroleum and other liquids to decline from 32% in 2018 to 27% in 2050; on an absolute basis, liquids consumption increases in the industrial, commercial, and transportation sectors and declines in the residential and electric power sectors.
The EIA forecasts that world production of crude oil and condensate will increase from about 80 million bbls/d in 2018 to 107 million bbls/d in 2050. Liquid fuels consumption increases 45% in non-OECD countries and falls 4% in OECD countries.
Canadian oil and condensate production is expected to grow from 4.1 million bbls/d this year to 6.1 million bbls/d in 2040, then surge to 9.6 million bbls/d by 2050.
“Canada’s 5.4 million-bbl/d increase in production by 2050 is a result of oilsands development, particularly toward the end of the projection period, as easily accessible global resources are increasingly depleted and global oil prices gradually increase,” the EIA said. Its reference case predicts Brent oil pricing to average US$100/bbl in 2050.
Natural gas is expected to be the world’s fastest growing fossil fuel over the coming decades, increasing by 1.1% per year, compared with oil and liquids’ 0.6% per year growth and coal’s 0.4% per year growth, the EIA said.
The United States remains the world’s largest natural gas producer throughout the projection period to 2050, reaching 43 tcf in 2050, a nearly 50% increase as shale production continues to expand in the Appalachian region and in tight oil formations in and around Texas.
The EIA expects Canada to continue to produce relatively large amounts of natural gas, reaching 6.8 tcf in 2050, a nearly 20% increase.
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