Canada as an energy superproducer
March 17, 2013
The Fraser Institute has published a paper by Gerry Angevine and Ken Green that looks at Canada in the world energy context. The north contributes significantly to this development in the oil sands and in uranium production.
The Fraser Institute is a Vancouver based think-tank that favours market-based solutions to societal problems and challenges.
The report highlights a number of interesting facts vis a vis Canadian energy production:
- Among the world’s top ten crude-oil producers, Canada ranks sixth, well behind Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United States, China, and Iran. However, Canadian oil production is poised to grow as further development of bitumen production from the oil sands and recovery of oil from shale formations using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies more than offset the decline in production from maturing fields.
- Canadian oil production could reach 4.5 million barrels per day by 2020 compared with 3.0 million barrels per day in 2010—an increase of 50%. Most of the increase is attributable to the oil sands.
- Canada ranks 20th in natural gas production. Production has been falling for 13 years.
- All of Canada’s current uranium production is in northern Saskatchewan where the main producers are Cameco and Areva Resources Canada. In 2011, 84% of Canada’s uranium production came from the Cameco McArthur River mine, the largest operating uranium mine in the world. The balance came from the company’s Rabbit Lake mine, where production is now in significant decline. About 83% of Canadian uranium production— 8,111 of 9,786 tonnes—was exported in 2010. This year, Cameco, Areva and their joint venture partners expect to commence operations at the Cigar Lake mine. This is anticipated to boost total Canadian production by about 9,000 tonnes per year, thereby doubling output.
The Fraser Institute report is worth a quick read as it highlights the importance of the energy industry in the world context, for employment opportunities and for government revenues.