Wednesday, January 11, 2006

CIBC: Conventional oil ''seems to have peaked in 2004.''

Resource Investor: Oilsands to Be World's Largest New Energy Supply by 2010.


As conventional oil reservoirs deplete rapidly around the world, Canada's oilsands will be the biggest contributor to new global supply by the end of the decade, predicts CIBC World Markets [TSX:CM].

And in an energy market where state-owned firms control a major portion of global daily production, the oilsands provide one of the few remaining growth opportunities for investors, chief economist Jeff Rubin said Tuesday.

''All of the net increase in oil production this year is expected to come from non-conventional sources,'' Rubin said in a release.

''While deepwater oil is the primary source today, we forecast that Canadian oilsands will become the single biggest contributor to incremental global supply by 2010.''

The Toronto-based bank said a study of 164 new oil fields and projects around the world shows that the price of oil will continue to rise over the next three years if global demand does not begin to wane.

As such, Rubin believes oil prices this year will eclipse last year's record high of $70.85 per barrel, reached as major oil and natural gas infrastructure in the Gulf Coast was being pounded by two major hurricanes.

Rubin also predicts that oil could rise to as much as $100 per barrel by 2007, giving energy companies a vast amount of cash in which to invest in large but expensive projects like the oilsands.

''Not only is depletion significant, but it is also accelerating, forcing more and more reliance on non-conventional sources of supply, such as Canada's vast but largely undeveloped oilsands,'' said the report.

The CIBC study says once depletion rates are factored in, global conventional supply ''seems to have peaked in 2004.''