December 15, 2008 / 10:38 PM / 9 years ago

Project woes cut Canada oil sands output forecasts

CALGARY, Alberta, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has cut its forecast for the country’s oil sands output for the second time this year after falling prices led to a spate of project deferrals and cancellations.

The association, which represents most of Canada’s big oil producers, said it expects the oil sands to produce 2.4 million barrels per day in 2015, down from the 2.8 million bpd it had forecast in June -- a figure that was itself cut from a 2007 outlook calling for 3 million barrels of daily production.

Canada’s oil sands contain the biggest crude reserves outside the Middle East but they are technically difficult and expensive to extract.

With oil prices down more than $100 a barrel since July, nearly every major project in the region has been delayed, deferred or canceled outright as potential returns no longer justify the multibillion-dollar investments needed to tap the resource. [ID: nN04411150]

CAPP has also lowered its forecast for 2008 production from the oil sands because of project delays. It expects output this year to be 1.22 million barrels a day, down from a June estimate of 1.31 million.

Its estimate of 2009 production from the region has been lowered to 1.44 million bpd from 1.53 million bpd.

CAPP said in June that oil sands output should top 3 million bpd by 2017. It now expects to reach that milestone in 2019. (Reporting by Scott Haggett; editing by Rob Wilson)

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