Canada’s energy regulator expects the country’s oil production to rise in the coming decades even without new pipelines to carry the fuel to market.
With rising crude prices in the coming years, Canadian production may increase to at least 4.8 million barrels a day by 2020, and to 5.6 million by 2040, without any new pipeline projects being built, Peter Watson, chief executive officer of Canada’s National Energy Board, said in a prepared speech. Canadian production was 3.74 million barrels a day in 2014, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
“Our analysis shows that if prices are sufficient, crude oil production will grow, albeit at a more moderate pace than our reference case, and rail transportation will provide the takeaway capacity,” Watson said in the speech.
Canadian oil producers have struggled in recent years to secure transportation of crude by pipeline to new markets. TransCanada Corp., Enbridge Inc. and Kinder Morgan Inc. have seen their projects stalled by opposition and regulatory delays. That’s helped keep the price of Canadian heavy oil at a discount of as much as $40 a barrel to U.S. crude in recent years.