Alberta forecasts oil production gains

May 9, 2013 at 7:01 AM   |   Comments

CALGARY, Alberta, May 9 (UPI) -- There was a net increase in 2012 in the amount of crude oil produced from Alberta province, the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board said.

The ERCB, an independent agency within the provincial government, said there were about 1.7 billion barrels of conventional crude oil and 167.9 billion barrels of bitumen, or oil sands, left in provincial deposits.

Since 1967, the province has produced 8.8 billion barrels from oil sands deposits. More than 16.7 billion barrels of conventional crude oil was produced there since 1914.

The provincial Athabasca oil sands deposits put Canada near Saudi Arabia in terms of proven reserves. Last year, Alberta produced 1.9 million barrels per day from oil sands, a 10 percent increase from the previous year.

Canadian oil producers aim to expand export options through a series of controversial pipeline proposals ranging from Keystone XL for the United States to Northern Gateway for the country's west coast.

Oil sands are controversial. Environmental groups say that type of crude is more corrosive to pipelines and more carbon-intensive to produce than conventional crude. Pipeline companies and the Canadian government challenge those claims.

The ERCB said oil sands production should reach 3.8 million bpd by 2022.

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