By June 16, 2017 Read More →

Canadian tight oil production has decreased since 2014


Oil prices

Canada drilling SandRidge photo.

All Canadian tight oil produced in western Canada

Since mid-2014, Canadian tight oil production decreased from a peak of about 425 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d) to about 345 Mb/d at the end of 2016, according to the National Energy Board.

This overall decrease was due to declining global oil prices. The main reductions came from the Cardium Formation of Alberta, which fell from 85 Mb/d to 50 Mb/d, and the Bakken Formation of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which decreased from about 60 Mb/d to 40 Mb/d.

The Montney Formation was the only formation that had its production grow since 2014, from 60 Mb/d to 95 Mb/d.


This was largely due to increased production of condensate, which is considered a form of oil.

Condensate is similar to very light oil. It is gaseous when underground, but condenses after extraction.

Montney condensate is obtained from tight gas wells and sells for a higher price than crude oil in western Canada because it is in high demand as a diluent that allows bitumen to be shipped by pipeline.

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The overall decline in tight oil production is from fewer new wells being added as drilling activity slowed in response to decreasing prices.

Tight-oil wells typically produce a large amount of oil in their first month but decline quickly thereafter, which means that new wells must be continually added to maintain production levels.

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In 2014, the number of producing wells grew annually by over 3 200.

In 2015, the number of producing wells grew by about 2 300, and production started to decline. By 2016, less than 1 000 new wells were added.



Posted in: Canada

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