Alberta oil production rises to record that tops China’s output

Robert Tuttle, Bloomberg January 12, 2024

(Bloomberg) – Alberta’s oil production rose above 4 MMbpd for the first time in November as oil-sands companies ramped up output to prepare to fill the largest new export pipeline in more than a decade.

Total production jumped by 336,822 bpd to 4.16 MMbpd, the highest in data stretching back to 2010, according to the Alberta Energy Regulator’s website. Output over the first 11 months of the year averaged 3.79 MMbpd, versus 3.73 MMbpd for all of 2022, the data show.

Production is surging as oil-sands companies prepare for an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline — which runs from the province to Canada’s Pacific Coast — to start up this year, giving them 590,000 bbl of new export capacity.

Alberta’s oil-sands deposits represent the world’s third-largest crude reserve, and November’s production is more than all but four countries, edging out China’s average output in 2022 while trailing Iraq’s, according to data from BP Plc. Including output from Canada’s other provinces makes the country the world’s fourth-largest producer.

The added Canadian production may weigh on global oil markets, which already are languishing under the weight of swelling inventories. U.S. crude production is expected to rise 2.2% to 13.2 MMbpd this year, according to the Energy Information Administration.

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