What’s going on

In 2018, Alberta produced more crude oil and bitumen than could be exported by rail or pipeline. This affected storage, price differentials and other aspects of the market.

The Government of Alberta put in place a temporary program to match production levels to what Alberta can export and reduce storage levels.

What we're doing

An oil production limit to address excess supply and export capacity is in effect from January 1 to December 31, 2019. This limit will be monitored closely and adjusted as storage levels stabilize.

Monthly production limits for raw crude and bitumen are set at:

  • April: 3.66 million barrels per day
  • May: 3.68 million barrels per day
  • June: 3.71 million barrels per day
  • July: 3.71 million barrels per day

This does not include pentanes or natural gas.

Industry information

The Alberta Energy Regulator administers the production limit on behalf of the government. The government’s authority to limit production ends December 31, 2019.

Under the amended formula that determines how space is allocated under the production limit, each company’s baseline production level is based on its highest level during their best single month from November 2017 to October 2018.

  • production limits will apply to both oil sands and conventional oil
  • the first 10,000 barrels produced by each operator are exempt
  • as there will still be significant oil available, refining operations will be able to access the oil supply required to meet their refining needs

An AER panel will review company-specific concerns and make policy recommendations back to the Government of Alberta. The panel can be reached at curtailment@aer.ca.

Industry information

Visit Energy Information Letters for all industry notices.

How we got here

  • December 2, 2018
  • January 2019

    Production limit first established at 3.56 million barrels per day.

  • February 2019

    Production increased by 75,000 barrels per day to a total of 3.63 million barrels per day

  • April 2019

    Production increased by 25,000 barrels to a total of 3.66 million barrels a day.

  • May 2019

    Production increased by 25,000 barrels to a total of 3.68 million barrels per day.

  • June 2019

    Production increased by 25,000 barrels to a total of 3.71 million barrels per day.