Tar sands/oil sands production in Canada and Venezuela will quadruple over the next 24 years, to nine million barrels per day, according to a long-term energy outlook published Monday by ExxonMobil.
“A significant shift is foreseen in North America, which is poised to emerge as a net liquids exporter due to projected strong growth in tight oil, oilsands, and NGLs (natural gas liquids),” Exxon wrote. “Within North America, rising oilsands production will enable Canada to continue exporting its surplus heavy crude to the U.S., whose refining system generally is designed to process heavier grades of crude.”
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The projection “sticks to the company’s long-held belief that fossil fuels will continue to dominate the energy market over the next few decades, despite pledges by 200 countries in Paris last month to cut fossil fuel consumption and rein in greenhouse gas emissions,” the Financial Post notes. “Exxon expects hydrocarbons to meet three-quarters of energy needs until 2040, with renewable energy making up around 15% of global demand.”
The report foresees U.S. oil production growing 70%, to more than 15 million barrels per day, between 2010 and 2040.
Even before Paris delegates adopted 1.5°C as a long-term limit on average global warming, analysts understood that the large majority of known fossil fuel reserves would have to stay in the ground. Last May, the G20 warned that a looming carbon bubble could put $6 trillion in fossil fuel projects at risk.