This study fills a gap in assessing the potential of emerging technologies and processes to improve economic competitiveness and reduce emissions of oil sands operations. It provides a detailed quantitative analysis of supply cost and emission reduction opportunities for technological innovation in the oil sands in situ process over the short and medium terms. The assessment is performed at the production field level breaking down oil sands in situ process into seven segments: 1) Reservoir, 2) Wells and well pads, 3) Business management and data analytics, 4) Steam generation, 5) Waste and water treatment, 6) Pipelines and transport, and 7) Upgrading. More so, the technology configurations that meet minimum costs and emissions objectives can achieve potential reduction of bitumen supply cost by 34-40% and reduce fuel-derived emissions from in situ oil sands production by more than 80%.
Canadian Oil Sands Supply Costs and Development Projects (2016-2036)
Each year the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) publishes its long-term view for Canadian Oil Sands supply costs and production. This is the eleventh annual edition of CERI’s oil sands supply cost and development projects update. The plant gate supply costs, which exclude transportation and blending costs, are C$43.31/bbl for a SAGD project and C$70.08/bbl for a stand-alone mine. A comparison of field gate costs from the August 2015 update indicates that, after adjusting for inflation, the supply cost for a SAGD producer has fallen by 27 percent, and 6 percent for a stand-alone mine.
Total production from oil sands areas totaled 2.53 MMBPD in 2015, growing 9.6 percent year-over-year. Production from oil sands includes an increasing share of Alberta’s and Canada’s crude oil production. In 2015, non-upgraded bitumen and SCO production made up 62 percent of total Canadian crude production and 78 percent of Alberta’s total production.
In CERI’s High Case Scenario, production from mining and in situ projects is set to grow to 3.5 MMBPD by 2020 and 5.9 MMBPD in 2030, peaking at an all-time high of 6.6 MMBPD by 2036. In the Low Case Scenario, production rises to 3.3 MMBPD in 2020, 3.8 MMBPD by 2030 and 4.5 MMBPD by the end of the forecast period. CERI’s Reference Case Scenario provides a more plausible view of the oil sands production. Projected production volume will increase to 3.4 MMBPD by 2020 and 4.8 MMBPD in 2030, peaking at 5.5 MMBPD by 2036.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions in Canada Through Electrification of Energy Services
Canada is to undertake efforts to reduce GHG emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 to meet or exceed Paris agreement commitments. Canada’s 2050 reduction targets are set at 80 percent below 2005 levels. Achieving these emissions reduction goals require transformational changes in the way we procure and consume energy. Electricity as an energy carrier has a pivotal role in achieving economy-wide emissions reductions. This study assesses energy system, environmental, and economic implications of transforming energy end-use conversion technology mix into one dominated by electricity in the residential, commercial, and passenger road transportation sectors of the 10 Canadian provinces. .
Risk Analysis of British Columbia Natural Gas Projects: Environmental and Indigenous Peoples Issues
This study discusses key environmental and Indigenous Peoples issues facing development of the natural gas and LNG industry in BC, and examines the main approaches to mitigate, manage and monitor these issues effectively.
The study is based on the review of environmental assessment (EA) applications for 29 major natural gas and LNG projects in BC that have undergone a typical EA process with the provincial or federal responsible authorities since 2010, as well as the content analysis of primary regulatory documents and issues identified in relevant case law.
The key environmental issues identified from the review include significant residual adverse effects related to greenhouse gas emissions; significant residual adverse effects and cumulative effects to rare and threatened wildlife species; and cumulative adverse impacts of natural gas development. The most common potential adverse impacts on Indigenous Peoples interests summarized in the review include but are not limited to effects on health and socio-economic conditions; physical and cultural heritage; the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes; sites of historical and archeological significance; and potential cumulative impacts on Aboriginal interests. The study also provides examples of key approaches to mitigate the foregoing issues and stresses the importance of effective consultation and engagement with Indigenous Groups at early stages of proposed projects development.
Competitive Analysis Of The Canadian Petrochemical Sector
Globally, petrochemicals are frequently looked to as a means of economic diversification and value add in economies who rely heavily on oil and gas revenues. As the Canadian economy has been negatively affected by the fall in oil and gas prices, Canada’s petrochemical sector is an interesting one to look to for potential future growth.
CERI’s “Competitive Analysis of the Canadian Petrochemical Sector” examines the availability of petrochemical feedstock in Canada for the C1 through C3 value chains through 2030, and expands on CERI’s September 2015 study, “Examining the Expansion Potential of the Petrochemical Industry in Canada” to assess Canada’s competitive position in comparison to other petrochemical producing jurisdictions. Canada will see large available volumes of methane, ethane and propane through the study period, both with and without LNG projects coming online. However, both Canadian petrochemical clusters (Alberta and Ontario) are not well positioned on the cost basis against more competitive US Gulf Coast and Saudi Arabia when considering plant gate costs and government incentives.
Canadian Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production and Supply Costs Outlook (2016-2036)
In a low cost environment for both oil and natural gas, the future of Canada’s conventional oil and gas development is being questioned. The last two years have seen significant declines in drilling and production as Canadian supply costs are high relative to the commodity prices.
CERI’s “Canadian Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production and Supply Costs Outlook (2016 – 2036)” breaks down drilling and production forecasts as well as supply costs across the various producing regions in Canada. Total natural gas production is expected to start to rise by 2019 as the price of gas increases and drilling rates overcome well decline rates. The rise in the gas production is totally dependent on whether LNG projects will be constructed. While oil prices are expected to rise as well, conventional crude production is expected to drop slightly and remain stable throughout the study period, as growth is concentrated in the oil sands. The Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin will see the vast majority of both natural gas production and conventional crude oil production, however, offshore Newfoundland will contribute approximately one-tenth of the crude oil over the study period.