Skip to content

NEWS: International Energy Agency sees more tar sands production, market-growth in Asia

The Globe and Mail reports on new analysis from the International Energy Agency, the Paris-based body that advises rich countries on energy markets. Their analysis says that, “Canada’s oil production (is expected to) grow by 1.1 million barrels a day (over the next five years), primarily from the oil sands. Domestic oil production was about 3 million barrels a day last year.” And with the oil boom in North Dakota’s Bakken field and Texas’ Permian and Eagle Ford plays, “North America is now the fastest-growing source of crude outside of OPEC.”

The article highlights, “But virtually all the demand growth is in Asia. …And it goes a long way toward explaining the upheaval on the Canadian oil scene: the battles over proliferating pipeline projects; the trade-promotion trips by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his ministers to China and India; and the huge interest by Asian state-owned companies in acquiring assets in the oil sands. …The Harper government has been seized with the rise of Asia and its energy-hungry economies. Indeed, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver travelled to India this week to promote greater exports of oil and gas to the subcontinent, and to look for more investment from Indian firms in the Canadian energy sector.”

An earlier article noted, “The energy industry is escalating efforts to send oil tankers to India and China by way of the east coast. It is shorter to reach India’s west coast refining hub via Canada’s east coast than it is to ship oil off the west coast, Laurie Smith, partner at Bennett Jones LLP, said in an interview.”

In terms of environmental impacts, the newspaper reports, “Despite efforts to wean the world off fossil fuels, oil will remain the dominant energy source for the foreseeable fuel, and the oil sands are an important source of new supply, the agency said.” The article also warns, with notable implications for unionized refining jobs in Canada, “The refining industry in the developed world is aged and inefficient, and forced to compete with new mega-refineries in China, India and the Middle East.”

The full article can be read at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/charting-the-future-of-crude-oil/article4610371/.