The oil industry will continue to lose money for much of this year despite stronger financial conditions and the promise of new pipeline capacity, the Conference Board of Canada said Monday.
Economist Carlos Murillo said the sector has narrowed losses since hitting rock bottom with an $11-billion overall loss in the first quarter of 2016, but it won’t post positive numbers until the fourth quarter of this year.
He expects the industry to recover to match its 2010 profit of around $13 billion by 2021.
In a report released Monday, the board said that capital investment this year is expected to fall to $22 billion from $27 billion last year as big construction projects in the Alberta oilsands and offshore Newfoundland are completed.
The peak investment level was $62 billion in 2014.
The board says benchmark light crude will average US$55 per barrel this year and rise to US$71 by 2021.