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The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has published the 2024 Alberta Energy Outlook report (formerly ST98), an annual publication featuring independent, comprehensive information on the state of Alberta’s energy industry.

The report shows that Alberta remains the largest producer of natural gas and oil in Canada, producing more than 60% of Canada’s natural gas and almost 85% of Canada’s oil equivalent (including bitumen) in 2023.


Source: AER

Among the findings of the 2024 Report:

  • Bitumen production remains significant. In 2023, bitumen accounted for 66% of Canada’s total oil equivalent production and is expected to remain the most important driver of energy supply and growth. Upgraded and nonupgraded bitumen production accounted for 51% of total primary energy production in 2023.

  • In 2023, an estimated 41% of produced raw bitumen was upgraded in Alberta. By 2033, only about 37% of raw bitumen is projected to be upgraded in Alberta as the growth in raw bitumen production is expected to outpace upgrading capacity additions.

  • Total oil production (including crude oil, oil sands, and pentanes plus) continued to climb in 2023 as companies ramped up production, preparing for the start-up of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion in May 2024. The production increase mainly came from nonupgraded bitumen, followed by upgraded bitumen and crude oil.

  • The total capital expenditures for crude oil, natural gas, oil sands, and emerging resources grew to $29.5 billion in 2023, a six-year high. Oil sands investment increased by 11% with optimization projects. Crude oil and natural gas investment declined by 6% as companies exerted capital discipline.

  • In 2023, oil prices stayed above pre-pandemic levels, supporting oil production. The completion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion, along with expected international demand growth, also boosted production and capacity.

  • Alberta presents significant growth opportunities for emerging resources, with hydrogen production projected to grow from 2.5 to 3.9 million tonnes per year by 2033 (4% average annual growth), and geothermal and helium production are each expected to grow at an average annual rate of 21%.

  • Although no commercial lithium production currently exists in Alberta, production is forecast to reach 13.4 thousand tonnes per year by 2033.

For the first time, this year’s report includes information on carbon capture, utilization, and storage, reflecting the growing interest in regulating carbon capture and storage projects.


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