As reported in The Globe and Mail, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is trimming its forecast for Canada’s oil production down to an average of 4.35 million barrels per day (BPD) in 2015. This reduction of 20,000 BPD still leaves the current forecast at 0.14 million BPD more than last year, but the slowed rate of growth is having significant effects throughout the industry, especially in unconventional oil production.
According to the Conference Board of Canada, the price of oil may be stabilizing at $50 (U.S.) a barrel and could recover to about $60, but the drop in prices will still end up costing producers over $40 billion in lost profit.
With companies hesitant to invest in costly production, the industry’s focus moves to brownfield work. The Globe and Mail cites OPEC’s prediction that growth in Canada will be largely supported by current oil sands developments, including projects like Cenovus Energy Inc.’s Foster Creek 1F and Imperial Oil Ltd.’s Cold Lake 14-16 facilities.