Crystal Balling the Energy Numbers

AER’s energy supply/demand report forecasts performance

Carol Crowfoot, vice president of Regulatory Development & Economics, plots out her economic predictions.


Fast Facts

  • Alberta is Canada’s largest producer of natural gas and oil.
  • Alberta produced 67 per cent of Canada’s natural gas and 81 per cent of Canada’s oil last year.
  • Bitumen represented more than 60 per cent of Canada’s total oil production in 2016.
  • Crude oil prices dropped 11 per cent in 2016.
  • The AER expects oil to average US$53.00 per barrel in 2017.

You don’t need to light candles or wave your hands around a translucent orb to predict the future of Alberta’s energy industry. All you need is an internet connection and a computer to access the AER’s annual reserves and supply report, ST98-2016: Alberta’s Energy Reserves 2016 &Supply/Demand Outlook 2017–2026.

ST98 empowers people to make decisions and assess opportunities in Alberta’s energy sector based on well-rounded, unbiased information,” says Carol Crowfoot, vice-president of Regulatory Development & Economics at the AER. “We are proud of this report and the work it represents.”

ST98 has been published since 1961 to report on Alberta’s energy resources, including how they are produced and how they are used. The report is an important tool for tracking Alberta’s energy development, helping the AER ensure that development is safe and environmentally responsible.

Here are a few key highlights from this year’s report:

  • North American crude oil prices decreased 11 per cent from US$48.79 per barrel in 2015 to US$43.32 per barrel in 2016.
  • Oil production is forecast to increase to 3.8 million barrels per day by 2026, with prices forecast to increase to US$83.26 per barrel over the next ten years.
  • Expenditures in Alberta’s oil, natural gas, and oil sands sectors dropped an estimated 35 per cent in 2016, from $39.8 billion in 2015 to $26.0 billion in 2016.
  • The AER expects expenditures in Alberta’s oil, natural gas, and oil sands sectors to increase slightly to $26.2 billion in 2017 based on the conventional oil and gas drilling forecast and on the forecast of oil sands projects.
  • Bitumen production from Alberta’s oil sands decreased by an estimated 3 per cent in 2016, primarily as a result of the Fort McMurray wildfires affecting mining operations.
  • Check out the ST98 video for more predictions and forecasts.

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