Canada has emerged as the primary source of heavy oil supply in the world as output from other large producers, such as Venezuela, has declined.
However, the pace of growth of Canadian oil sands is uncertain after 2019 and depends on the timing of investment decisions that are yet to be made. By then, ongoing projects will be completed and an initial boost to production will slow down, IHS Markit said in a blog post on Tuesday.
There will also be uncertainty related to adequate pipeline capacity, which influences the discount at which Canadian heavy crude trades to global benchmarks.
“Over the past 12 months alone, the difference in price compared to a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has fluctuated just under $10 per barrel to more than $30,” according to IHS Markit analyst Kevin Birn.
The investment decisions will also depend on new norms for global marine fuel quality to be adopted in 2020 and which are expected to reduce prices of high sulfur fuel oil, the blog post said.
Canada is expected to produce an additional 1 million barrels per day by 2027 from current levels, IHS Markit said.