Updated June 2021
Figure 1.3 shows the historical and forecast price of Canadian Light Sweet (CLS).
The average annual price of CLS decreased by 32 per cent in 2020, to Cdn$45.77 per barrel (bbl).
The base price for CLS is projected to increase to Cdn$59.00/bbl in 2021, Cdn$60.00/bbl in 2022, and strengthen over the forecast period to Cdn$77.50/bbl by 2030. The low-price and high-price cases align with the assumptions for the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) forecast. The low-price case CLS projection is Cdn$47.53/bbl for 2021, Cdn$48.34/bbl for 2022, and Cdn$62.44/bbl for 2030. The high-price case projects Cdn$73.23/bbl for 2021, Cdn$74.47/bbl for 2022, and Cdn$96.19/bbl for 2030.
The price trajectory for CLS is expected to follow the WTI trend, after accounting for transportation costs and regional market conditions.
Price differentials: The WTI-CLS differential was US$5.08/bbl in 2020, lower than the US$5.73/bbl differential in 2019.
The price differential between CLS and WTI started the year higher, at US$8.88/bbl, but dropped during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, to as low as US$2.17/bbl in May. Toward the end of 2020, the differential started to gradually increase, reaching US$5.81/bbl in December.
Forecast for 2020 to 2030
With increased demand for pipeline takeaway capacity and railway transportation, the differential between CLS and WTI is anticipated to gradually increase to US$8.00/bbl by 2030.
Low-Price and High-Price Cases
The price trajectory of CLS follows the forecast price of WTI but is differentiated by transportation costs, regional factors, and exchange rates. The low-price and high-price cases reflect near-term and long-term trends of the price of WTI.