upcoming rich neighbor

Oil from the tar sands of Alberta Canada is expanding rapidly.

Production in Alberta is up 61 percent over the past four years. This year, Alberta’s oil sands are expected to produce 1.2 million barrels a day, roughly equal to the production of Texas.

However it’s extracted, all bitumen has to be transformed into oil in a process called upgrading. There are several different steps in upgrading, all of them using a lot of energy, usually natural gas. It costs $23 to $26 a barrel – depending on the project – to produce light oil from sticky goo of the oil sands.

Tar oil production will almost triple in the next 10 years.

CALGARY, Alberta – A massive rise in crude production from Canada’s oil sands region over the next decade will nearly triple the area’s call on strained natural gas supplies, Canada’s national energy regulator said Thursday.

Production from the oil sands of northern Alberta is expected to rise to more than 3 million barrels a day by 2015, according to a study by the National Energy Board, triple last year’s output.

Production might rise as high as 5 million barrels by 2020.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ forecast two weeks ago was higher than NEB’s at 3.5 million bpd by 2015 and 4.9 million bpd by 2020. Both said getting the increased oil production to markets must keep pace.

via Future Pundit

The USA imports about 25 million barrels per day consuming about 25% of all oil. Alberta’s bid to produce as much as 5 million barrels is a major shift in where dollars will travel.