Updated May 2022
Within this section
Production: Raw bitumen production increased by 9.3 per cent in 2021 to 517.6 thousand cubic metres per day (103 m3/d) or 3257.2 thousand barrels per day (103 bbl/d). In 2021, mined bitumen production increased by 7 per cent to 253.0 103 m3/d and in situ production increased by 11.6 per cent to 264.6 103 m3/d.
By 2031, total raw bitumen production is forecast to increase to 654.7 103 m3/d (4120.0 103 bbl/d). The anticipated pace of production growth over the forecast is slower than what it has been over the past decade. However, future production growth is supported by improving market conditions and increased transportation takeaway capacity. Continued consolidation of operators and the growing importance of environmental, social, and governance criteria will also impact future production growth.
Number of wells: Following production trends, the number of producing wells increased by 2.8 per cent to 11 492 in 2021.
Demand: Total Alberta refinery demand in 2021 (including upgraded and nonupgraded bitumen, crude oil, and pentanes plus) was 81.9 103 m3/d (515.4 103 bbl/d). Marketable bitumen (upgraded and nonupgraded bitumen) accounted for 63.1 103 m3/d (397.1 103 bbl/d), or 77 per cent, of the total Alberta refinery demand. The remaining marketable bitumen was removed from the province. Alberta refinery demand for marketable bitumen is expected to increase over the first couple of years of the forecast as domestic refinery utilization rates return to their pre‑COVID levels and the Sturgeon Refinery reaches nameplate capacity. After this initial period, the forecast will remain steady with consistent refinery throughputs. Removals are projected to increase throughout the forecast period.