Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) has downgraded its long-term crude production forecast by just under half a million barrels.

The NEB said Wednesday that it expects Canadian crude oil production to increase from 4 million barrels per day in 2015 to 5.7 million barrels per day by 2040, a nearly 400,000 barrels per day decline from the agency’s previous forecast.

In the report’s reference case, Canadian crude oil production is expected to continue growing but at a “slower rate” than the agency had previously projected.

The NEB’s reference crude oil price is now US$90 per barrel by 2040, a $17 per barrel decline from the agency’s projections released at the start of the year.

“The global price of oil remains a key uncertainty for future growth,” the NEB said.

Electricity generated from coal is expected to drop by 10 percent from current levels by 2040, due to federal regulations and the planned phase-out of coal in Alberta by 2030.

The NEB said that “considerable natural gas and renewable energy” will be added over the projection period to replace declining coal generation.

Hydroelectric capacity is expected to jump by 15 percent from 2015 levels by 2040.

Canada’s combined solar, wind and biomass capacity is projected to more than double by 2040.

The NEB expects energy use, including energy derived from fossil fuels, to continue growing but at a “slower pace” compared to the agency’s previous projections.

The agency added that, despite continued growth, energy used is expected to expand at a “much slower pace than Canada has seen over the last 25 years.”

“Canada’s energy system continues to face a great deal of change and uncertainty. The NEB’s updated energy outlook reflects recent volatility in global crude prices, as well as the ongoing impact of climate policies. As climate policy frameworks in Canada continue to evolve, the NEB will continue to update our Energy Futures series and provide Canadians with up-to-date, unbiased and factual energy information,” National Energy Board chief economist Shelley Milutinovic said.

The National Energy Board is an independent federal regulator of several parts of Canada’s energy industry including pipelines, energy development and trade.


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