Alberta continues to increase the amount of oil production allowed. Limits are based on monitoring a number of indicators and recognizing that less diluent is needed in warmer weather for bitumen to flow in pipelines, meaning more capacity.
Production limits in May will increase by 25,000 barrels a day and 25,000 more in June – a 50,000 increase in total to 3.71 million barrels per day allowed, effective June 1. This represents a total increase of 150,000 barrels a day since the start of the production limit policy on Jan. 1.
“As we increase production, we’re providing even more certainty for producers who have been working with us to protect the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of Alberta families and businesses. This temporary policy has been critical to reducing the oil price differential while we move ahead with our medium-term plan to ship more oil by rail and lead the long-term charge for new pipelines as we fight to get full value for the resources owned by all Albertans.”
Increasing production limits in May and June will help the province match production levels to what can be shipped using existing pipeline and rail capacity, while also addressing excess storage. The province’s crude-by-rail program is scheduled to begin initial shipments in July, ramping up to 120,000 barrel-a-day shipments by 2020. Alberta will also continue fighting for new pipeline construction both to the United States and Canada’s west coast.
The government will continue to monitor the market and its response to the increases and will work to provide information prior to trading periods for future months.
The first 10,000 barrels per day a company produces remains exempt from any production limits, meaning only 28 of more than 300 producers in Alberta are subject to the production limits.
Monthly production limits, in million barrels per day:
- January – 3.56
- February – 3.63
- March – 3.63
- April – 3.66
- May – 3.68
- June – 3.71