Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to:Latest news headlinesAnalytical topics and featuresCommodities videos, podcast & blogsSample market prices & dataSpecial reportsSubscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

In this list

Alberta crude output 'slowly' recovering but still needs higher prices, demand: minister

Agriculture | Biofuels | Energy | Oil | Crude Oil | Refined Products | Metals | Steel | Shipping | Tankers | Coronavirus

Market Movers Americas, Nov 23-27: Markets watch coronavirus surge, progress on stimulus


Platts Market Data – Oil

Electric Power | Renewables | LNG | Infrastructure Utilities

Caribbean Energy Conference, 21st

Electricity | Electric Power | Renewables | Metals

UK's fourth CfD renewable energy auction in late 2021 to aim for 12 GW

Electric Power | Renewables | Natural Gas (North American) | Crude Oil | Steel | Petrochemicals

Commodity Tracker: 5 charts to watch this week

Alberta crude output 'slowly' recovering but still needs higher prices, demand: minister


16% of Alberta crude oil production still offline

Oil sands hampered by low prices, lack of pipelines

Canada can fill gap left by declining Venezuela, Mexico

London — Some 16% of Alberta's crude oil production remains offline, down from a peak of 22% -- or 880,000 b/d – at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the western Canadian province's energy minister said Oct. 13.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

"It is coming back online slowly," Minister Sonya Savage told the Energy Intelligence Forum.

But she conceded that a full recovery in Alberta's oil sands will require higher prices, as well as a rebound in demand in the US, which buys about 97% of Canada's crude exports.

S&P Global Platts assessed Western Canadian Select in Hardisty, Alberta, at $31.99/b on Oct. 9, compared to a low of $8.03/b on April 1 during the depths of the coronavirus crisis and the start of a one-month price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

But that is still below pre-pandemic levels of around $40/b in early January, and the depressed prices, along with limited pipeline takeaway capacity, have stifled investment in the oil sands.

"To get production fully back to where it was, we're going to be needing [higher prices], demand and upstream investment," Savage said.

Should those market conditions be realized, Alberta should be well-positioned to regain market share, and even increase it, as oil sands crude is similar in properties to the heavy crude from declining producers Venezuela and Mexico, she said.

"We see that there are many competitive advantages to the oil sands," she said. "Unlike other sources of oil, [heavy crude] is in demand."

Canada produced 3.76 million b/d in July, the vast majority of it from Alberta, according to the latest official statistics from the Canadian Centre for Energy Information.