Production, reserves way up

Alberta’s energy regulator says higher oil prices and new technology have led to the largest increase in decades of both conventional oil production and reserves. In its latest report the Energy Resources Conservation Board records a 14 per cent increase in production in 2012 and 9.5 per cent increase in reserves over 2011 levels, due to the higher production rates from horizontal wells.

CALGARY — Alberta’s energy regulator says higher oil prices and new technology have led to the largest increase in decades of both conventional oil production and reserves.

In its latest report the Energy Resources Conservation Board records a 14 per cent increase in production in 2012 and 9.5 per cent increase in reserves over 2011 levels, due to the higher production rates from horizontal wells.

Alberta’s crude oil production totalled 556,000 barrels of oil per day with a yearly total of 204 million barrels.

“We saw the trend start in 2010, but with the price environment and with the successful use by industry of multi-stage fracturing technology in horizontal wells it’s definitely a great success story from that perspective,” said Carol Crowfoot, chief economist for the ERCB.

Prior to that she said there had been a “flattening” in production because of the maturing of reserves in the oil basin.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, injects sand, water and chemicals to break apart rock and free the oil or gas inside.

“In the province certainly natural gas prices have been in the doldrums for quite some time so industry is focusing on producing other commodities that bring a better rate of return obviously – crude oil being one of them,” Crowfoot added.

The ERCB forecasts Alberta’s annual raw crude bitumen production will total 3.8 million barrels per day for a total of 1.39 billion barrels per year by 2022. It says since 1967 Alberta has produced about 8.8 billion barrels of raw crude bitumen from the oil sands and 16.7 billion barrels of crude oil since 1914.

Crowfoot said the forecast is dependent on oil prices, access to capital and whether the market flattens out or is in decline.

Alberta’s total remaining established crude bitumen and crude oil reserves amount to 169.6 billion barrels, consisting of 167.9 billion barrels of crude bitumen and 1.7 billion barrels of crude oil.

“It’s in the range of about eight or nine years. That means if we don’t find more reserves and we keep production at current levels that will last us eight or nine years. But of course we find more reserves,” explained Crowfoot.

“You have to remember we’re in a maturing basin and on the conventional oil side even though we’re seeing a definite change in trend from a decline in production – it’s a diminishing pie of remaining reserves.”

Conventional natural gas reserves in the province stood at 33 trillion cubic feet in 2012 which is down three per cent from 2011. Reserves of natural gas liquids were 1.6 billion barrels which is virtually unchanged from the year previous.

Despite the diminishing pie of reserves Crowfoot said that doesn’t include what people commonly refer to as shale oil, shale gas, and shale natural gas liquids.

“If development occurs on the shale side then there is tremendous resources. For shale, we have a treasure trove of resources under the ground, then of course we would have significantly more reserves than we do now.”

Just Posted

Gabe Cuthand, Brandon McDonald, Dean Johnson and Dakota Dion drumming during a past Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at City Hall Park in Red Deer (Advocate file photo).
Indigenous People’s Day will be celebrated online on Monday in Red Deer

National Indigenous Peoples Day will be celebrated in Red Deer on Monday… Continue reading

(Black Press file photo).
A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Friday, June 18, 2021

The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m.… Continue reading

(Black Press file photo).
AstraZeneca second dose ‘good choice’ despite federal guidance: B.C.’s top doctor

THE CANADIAN PRESS VICTORIA — British Columbia’s top doctor says there is… Continue reading

A person walks past a colourful wall while wearing a protective mask in the warm weather during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
A look at COVID-19 reopening plans across the country

As COVID-19 vaccination rates increase and case numbers drop across the country,… Continue reading

Ubuntu – Mobilizing Central Alberta co-founder Dieulita Datus (front left) received a Multiculturalism, Indigenous and Inclusion Grant for the organization from the Government of Alberta. (Photo by Advocate staff)
Central Alberta organization promoting diversity, inclusion receives $6,000 grant from Alberta gov’t

Ubuntu was given the funds to further its work into equality and equity for all

A supporter of presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi holds a sign during a rally in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. Iran's clerical vetting committee has allowed just seven candidates for the Friday, June 18, ballot, nixing prominent reformists and key allies of President Hassan Rouhani. The presumed front-runner has become Ebrahim Raisi, the country's hard-line judiciary chief who is closely aligned with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Iran votes in presidential poll tipped in hard-liner’s favor

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iranians voted Friday in a presidential… Continue reading

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto, left, and President Seiko Hashimoto attend the news conference after receiving a report from a group of infectious disease experts on Friday, June 18, 2021, in Tokyo. The experts including Shigeru Omi, head of a government coronavirus advisory panel, issued a report listing the risks of allowing the spectators and the measurements to prevent the event from triggering a coronavirus spread. (Yuichi Yamazaki/Pool Photo via AP)
Top medical adviser says ‘no fans’ safest for Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO (AP) — The safest way to hold the Tokyo Olympics is… Continue reading

FILE - In this June 12, 2021, file photo, Rajkumar Haryani, 38, who painted his body to create awareness about vaccination against the coronavirus poses for photographs after getting a dose of Covishield vaccine in Ahmedabad, India. Starting June 21, 2021, every Indian adult can get a COVID-19 vaccine dose for free that was purchased by the federal government. The policy reversal announced last week ends a complex system of buying vaccines that worsened inequities in accessing vaccines. India is a key global supplier of vaccines and its missteps have left millions of people waiting unprotected. The policy change is likely to address inequality but questions remain and shortages will continue. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki, File)
How India is changing vaccine plan amid shortages

NEW DELHI (AP) — Starting Monday, every adult in India will be… Continue reading

Chief of Defence staff General Jonathan Vance speaks during a news conference to , in Ottawa Tuesday August 30, 2016. The Canadian Armed Forces says it is making progress in the fight against sexual misconduct in the ranks, but much more work needs to be done. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Freeze promotions until military commanders are screened for misconduct: Committee

OTTAWA — A parliamentary committee has called for a freeze on all… Continue reading

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Hussen says he is looking to municipalities to reshape local rules to more quickly build units through the government's national housing strategy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Cities should redo planning, permitting to align with housing strategy, minister says

OTTAWA — The federal minister in charge of affordable housing says he… Continue reading

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. On June 1, NACI had said AstraZeneca recipients "could" get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for their second shot if they wanted, but Thursday went further to say an mRNA vaccine was the "preferred" choice. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

When Gwenny Farrell booked her second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine… Continue reading

Brooklyn Nets' James Harden, right, is guarded by Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, center, during the first half of Game 6 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Bucks bounce back to defeat Nets 104-89 and force Game 7

MILWAUKEE — Khris Middleton scored 38 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 30 and… Continue reading

Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (21) brings the puck up the ice against the New York Islanders during the third period of Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinals, Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Uniondale, N.Y. Tampa Bay won 2-1.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Point scores again, Lightning beat Islanders 2-1 in Game 3

Lightning 2 Islanders 1 (Tampa Bay leads series 2-1) UNIONDALE, N.Y. —… Continue reading

Most Read