For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Lorne Stockman, lorne [at] priceofoil [dot] org
David Turnbull, david [at] priceofoil [dot] org

New Analysis Finds 1.6 Million bpd of Planned Tar Sands Expansion On Life Support

WASHINGTON - New analysis from Oil Change International has found that over 1.6 million barrels per day of planned expansion in tar sands production is currently delayed or ‘on-hold’ as industry struggles to identify a profitable path forward for 39 projects.

“The case for the tar sands is crumbling,” said Hannah McKinnon, Senior Campaigner on Private Finance at Oil Change International. “The tar sands are bad for the climate, the environment, impacted communities, and now the sector itself is struggling to justify many new projects.”

The analysis – based on industry data and Rystad Energy UCube – concludes that for every 1,000 barrels per day of tar sands production capacity approved or under construction, there are over 500 bpd that are delayed or on hold. These projects represent over 1.61 million bpd of proposed production capacity.


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“This report is some good news for the climate, but the battle is far from over. Every day of delay for tar sands projects is a good day for our future, but this is an industry determined to dig it up,” said Lorne Stockman, Research Director at Oil Change International. “But while the industry puts its head down and tries to charge ahead, people around the continent are rising up to defend our communities and climate, and their efforts are clearly paying dividends.”

Key findings from the briefing include:

  • Currently, 39 proposed 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.

The briefing can be found here:


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Oil Change International is a research, communication, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the coming transition towards clean energy.

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