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CERA sees five-fold increase in tar sands output

The Financial Post reports today that, “Output from Canada’s oil sands could rise to as much as 6.3-million barrels a day by 2035, a nearly five-fold increase above current levels, according to a landmark U.S. report released Monday. It was one of the findings by energy consultancy IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) in a study called Growth in the Canadian Oil Sands: Finding a New Balance.”

“To reach the theoretical level of 6.3 million barrels a day, the study assumes strong economic growth and robust oil prices over the long-term. If the global economy stagnates and oil prices remain weak, it is projecting daily production of 2.3 million barrels a day by 2035. That is still about one million barrels a day above current levels.”

“The numbers show just how important Canada’s oil will become to the United States, as the study predicts that Canada would account for 37% of U.S. oil imports if production is ramped up to 6.3 million barrels a day. It was just 19% in 2008, CERA said.”

“The environmental impact of oil sands mining has become a major political concern as well, as Canadian officials fear that the United States will push harder to block imports of ‘dirty oil.'”

“CERA said that Canada and the U.S. should create a joint framework for regulating greenhouse gas emissions to reduce market distortions and prevent any trade conflicts. It also pointed to technological innovation to address environmental challenges. When it comes to the environmental damage from oil sands operations, the study suggests that the impact on global warming may not be as extreme as some opponents to the oil sands suggest.”

The “Growth in the Canadian Oil Sands: Finding a New Balance” report can be read at http://www.cera.com/aspx/cda/client/knowledgeArea/serviceDescription.aspx?KID=228.

The Financial Post article is at http://www.financialpost.com/m/story.html?id=1606811&s=News.