Canadian tight oil production to decline until 2020, then start increasing

Juggernaut: World tight oil production to more than double by 2040

By JWN staff

Aug. 16, 2016, 7:43 a.m.


The massive growth of tight oil production around the world has only just begun, says the latest analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The EIA predicts that world tight oil production will more than double between 2015 and 2040, increasing from 4.98 million bbls/d in 2015 to 10.36 million bbls/d in 2040.

While much of this growth will come from the U.S., the EIA says in its International Energy Outlook 2016 and Annual Energy Outlook 2016 that the rest will come from countries that have large tight oil resources and highly developed oil and gas industries, like Canada, Russia and Argentina.


U.S. tight oil production, which is 4.6 million bbls/d as of June 2016, has proven much more resistant to low oil prices than many analysts anticipated due to increased technological efficiency. In the Annual Energy Outlook 2016, U.S. tight oil production is expected to reach 7.1 million bbls/d in 2040.


Average year-over-year tight oil production in Canada has been declining since 2012 because this resource competes for capital with oilsands development, which tends to have a larger resource base.

According to the National Energy Board, Canada’s tight oil production dropped to 0.36 million bbls/d as of January 2016. The EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2016 projects that tight oil production in Canada will continue to decline until 2020 and then increase, reaching 0.76 million bbls/d in 2040, thanks to higher crude oil prices and less competition for capital with oilsands development.


Argentina is still in the early stages of tight oil production. The country’s national oil company reports that shale production reached 0.05 million boe/d as of Q4 2015. The International Energy Outlook 2016 predicts that production will double by 2020 and reach 0.69 million bbls/d in 2040.

Russia, Mexico, Colombia, Australia 

These countries, among others, hold large tight oil resources but commercial development remained elusive in 2015. By 2040, however, they are expected to contribute the combined equivalent of 1.8 million bbls/d as oil prices increase, approximately 18 per cent of the projected total world tight oil production of 10.36 million bbls/d.

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About prosperitysaskatchewan

Consultant on Saskatchewan's natural resources.

Posted on August 16, 2016, in economic impact, oil. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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