North America Can't Be A Net Energy Exporter Without Canada's Controversial Oil Sands

Oil Sands

North America’s oil and gas production boom will allow the continent to become a net energy exporter by 2025, according to the U.S. edition of Exxon’s annual forecast.

But this assumes expanded production in Canada’s controversial oil sands.

Many argue that their development environmentally hazardous.

From Exxon’s report. 

After decades of relatively flat production, output of oil and other liquid fuels in North America is projected to rise by about 40 per cent from 2010 to 2040, as declines in conventional crude oil are more than offset by rising production of resources that until recently could not be produced economically. The biggest contribution will come from Canada’s oil sands, where production is expected to triple over the Outlook period, reaching about 4.5 million barrels a day by 2040.

By 2040, North America could be exporting about 15 per cent of its natural gas production and about 5 per cent of its oil production. Here’s the chart breaking down North America and the U.S.’s likely import scenario in the coming decades.

exxon net energy exporter chart

The U.S. itself will actually end up remaining a net energy importer through 2040, Exxon says, mostly because it uses so much. Overall U.S. energy consumption is expected to gradually plateau and then decline by about 5 per cent from 2010 to 2040.

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