Market Snapshot: How have expectations for Canada’s fossil fuel use and crude oil production changed?

Release date: 2017-11-29

The National Energy Board projects energy supply and demand in its series of reports known as Energy Futures. The scenarios in the recently released Canada’s Energy Future 2017: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2040 (EF 2017) are different from the projections released in 2016 for fossil fuel use and crude oil production.

Since the release of Canada’s Energy Future 2016: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2040 (EF2016) in January 2016, Canadian provinces and the Federal government have continued to adopt climate policies aimed at lowering GHG emissions. The figure below shows the declining fossil fuel demand projections that resulted from continued adoption and integration of Canadian climate policies. Canada’s Energy Future 2016: Update - Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2040 released in October 2016 projected 2040 fossil fuel demand to be 10.2% lower than in EF2016. In other words, future demand is expected to drop more than 10%, largely based on the policies implemented in less than a year. EF 2017 released in November 2017 projects fossil fuel demand to be 17.5% lower than Energy Futures 2016.

The Higher Carbon Price CaseFootnote 1 and Technology CaseFootnote 2 projections in EF 2017 show how climate policies and technologies could further reduce fossil fuel demand.

Changes across Energy Futures Reports in Canadian Fossil Fuel Use and Oil Production, in 2040

Source and Description

Source: Canada’s Energy Future 2017: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2040

Description: EF 2016 Update projected 2040 fossil fuel use to be 10.2% lower than EF 2016 projections, while EF 2017’s Reference Case, Higher Carbon Price Case, and Technology Case projected fossil fuel use to be 17.5%, 24.1% and 28.1% lower than EF 2016, respectively. EF 2016 Update projected 2040 crude oil production to be 6.5% lower than EF 2016 projections. EF 2017’s Reference Case projects 2040 crude oil production to be 3.9% higher than EF 2016 projections. EF 2017’s Higher Carbon Price Case and Technology Case project 2040 crude oil production to be 5.7% and 7.7% lower than EF 2016, respectively.

Crude oil production projections in the reports changed less than the fossil fuel use projections. Notably crude oil production is higher in the EF 2017 Reference Case than in previous outlooks. This is driven by several factors, including significant growth in Saskatchewan heavy oil production, and improved productivity and reduced costs throughout the industry. This helps offset decreased production resulting from lower global oil pricesFootnote 3.

 

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