Canada's Oil Sands: a pipeline bonanza in Q4 2016



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Report summary

Oil sands production and price realisations improved quarter on quarter. Production is at an all time high of over 2.45 million b/d. The industry benefited from incremental brownfield expansions and an appreciation of benchmark crudes in the wake of OPEC production cuts. Operating costs crept up 2% over the quarter, but were largely offset by material increases in price realisations that lead to improved netbacks across the region.

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
    • Realised prices in Cdn$/bbl
  • In situ production
  • Operating costs
    • Canadian government approves Trans Mountain Expansion and Line 3 Replacement pipelines
    • U.S. President Donald Trump signs executive order to expedite Keystone XL Pipeline decision
    • Statoil makes its exit
    • MEG applies for 164,000 bbl/d May River project
    • Syncrude nears name plate capacity
    • Capital expenditures decrease, but certain operators are ramping up

Tables and charts

This report includes 10 images and tables including:


  • Syncrude cost sensitivity


  • Benchmark prices
  • Historical Western Canada Select prices
  • In situ projects <35,000 bbl/d
  • In situ projects <35,000 bbl/d
  • Mining project production
  • Operating costs for select projects
  • Canada's Oil Sands: a pipeline bonanza in Q4 2016: Image 3
  • Syncrude improvements
  • Spending budgets for oil sands operators

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