More black gold flowing than ever in Alberta

The Owl TD

Rob Roach, ATB Economics | February 2, 2022

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The oil production numbers for all 12 months of 2021 are now in and Alberta had a record-breaking year.

After contracting by 5.1% in 2020, Alberta’s annual oil production surged back in 2021, growing by 8.0% and reaching a new high of 1.32 billion barrels. The previous high of 1.29 billion barrels was set in 2019.

The growth over the previous decade has been impressive, with annual oil production in 2021 84% (600 million barrels) higher than it was in 2010.

The oil sands accounted for 86% of Alberta’s production last year. Oil sands production was about 5% higher last year than its pre-pandemic level in 2019. Conventional production (including condensate), on the other hand, was about 11% lower.

Annual production should continue to rise over time, but potential growth will be kept in check by limited new transportation capacity and climate change policy.

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