OCI Briefing-OnTheEdge_CoverOil Change International- May 2015

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The Canadian tar sands is among the most carbon-intensive, highest-cost sources of oil in the world. Even prior to the precipitous drop in global oil prices late last year, three major projects were cancelled in the sector with companies unable to chart a profitable path forward.

Since the collapse in global oil prices, the sector has been under pressure to make further cuts, leading to substantial budget cuts, job losses, and a much more bearish outlook on expansion projections in the coming years.

In the wake of plummeting oil prices and ongoing market access constraints, the tar sands sector has placed on hold dozens of planned projects.

  • Currently, 39 tar sands projects are delayed or ‘on-hold’.
  • For every 1,000 barrels per day (bpd) of tar sands production capacity approved or under construction, there are over 500 bpd that are delayed or ‘on-hold’.
  • Delayed or on-hold projects represent over 1.61 million barrels per day of proposed tar sands production capacity.
  • Delayed or on-hold projects contain nearly 13 billion barrels of total resources, which would amount to 7.8 billion metric tons of CO2 if extracted and burned. The emissions are equivalent to 40 years of emissions from 51 average U.S. coal-fired power plants.
  • An additional 550,000 bpd of production capacity (40,000 bpd currently operating) is owned by companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

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