Table 2.2 shows the evolution of production levels for fossil fuels. This production is mainly in the form of crude oil (54.8%) and natural gas (34.7%), with coal and natural gas liquids providing the remainder. Canada is the world’s 4th largest producer of crude, although the production levels in the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia are well above twice the Canadian levels. As for natural gas, while the United States and Russia each produce more than four times Canadian levels, Canada’s production levels are comparable with the next top producers: Iran, Qatar and China.
Table 2.2 – Fossil fuel production (PJ) #
While natural gas production levels have fluctuated over time, oil production levels have increased more or less continuously since 1999, with 2019 levels more than twice what they were 20 years earlier. Over the last year, price levels have dropped to a 20-year low, partly because of the pandemic but also owing to increasingly aggressive play by the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia to protect their market share and the ever more ambitious GHG reduction goals set by the world’s leading countries. Although prices have strengthened somewhat since early 2021, global political tensions could have important implications for Canadian producers, who could struggle to maintain production levels in the face of uncertain price levels.