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NEWS: Fracking spurs non-tar sands oil production in Alberta

The Globe and Mail reports, “Conventional oil production in Alberta is exploding, posting growth numbers not seen since the 1960s, as companies across the province use modern technology to revive pools of crude once thought inaccessible. The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) said energy companies extracted 556,000 barrels of oil a day in 2012 from conventional zones, up 14 per cent from 2011. It expects output to grow by 7 per cent in 2013.”

“Alberta’s conventional oil boom is largely the result of horizontal drilling coupled with multistage hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) techniques that allow companies to tap formations once viewed out of reach or unprofitable. …’We’re just at the front end of the technology change,’ Scott Saxberg, president and CEO of Crescent Point Energy Corp., said. ‘In the next five to 10 years, we’re going to see even more advancements in that technology and the knowledge we have around developing these assets using the multistage fracking horizontal drilling.'”

The article also notes, “The strong growth in Alberta oil production shows the industry’s prowess in tapping reserves from conventional fields and the oil sands alike. But fast-rising output also risks adding to a problem already hampering many in the oil patch, as abundant crude exports run into chronic transportation bottlenecks and weigh on prices for Alberta companies, largely heavy oil producers, compared with North American and global benchmarks.”

For more on the Council of Canadians campaign in opposition to fracking, please see http://canadians.org/blog/?p=19722.