25+ Facts on Canada’s Offshore Oil & Gas Industry

Canadian offshore oil and gas facts 27,000 jobs supported

Since production from Canada’s offshore oil and gas industry began in 1997, the sector has provided Atlantic provinces with a vast wealth of revenues used to pay for social programs, public healthcare and infrastructure, and so much more.

With well over 1.7 billion barrels produced thus far, the oil and gas sector has accounted for roughly 25 per cent of Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy and more than 40 per cent of its exports over the past 20 years. Nova Scotia was also a major benefactor of offshore activity, earning billions in revenues from natural gas developments over the past few decades.

Today, Canadian offshore produces one of the lowest carbon-intensive barrels in the world, with an average of under 19 kg of CO2 equivalent per barrel produced – or roughly 30 per cent below the global average.

Learn more about Canada’s world-class offshore oil and gas sector by checking out these facts below! Also see:

Canadian Offshore Facts & Statistics

canadian offshore sector accounts for 25% of newfoundland and labradors economy

#1 - As of 2020, Newfoundland and Labrador’s 4 major offshore projects produced 25 per cent of Canada’s conventional light crude oil (NOIA)

#2 - These four oil offshore projects off Newfoundland and Labrador's coast include (St. John’s):

  • Hibernia, operated by Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd.
  • Terra Nova, operated by Suncor Energy
  • White Rose, operated by Husky Energy
  • Hebron, operated by ExxonMobil Canada

#3 - Production from the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore operations began in 1997 (City of St. John’s)

#4 - Since the dawn of the industry, well over 1.7 billion barrels of oil have been produced (City of St. John’s)

#5 - The offshore industry accounts for roughly 25 per cent of Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy each year (City of St. John’s)

#6 - Offshore oil and gas also accounts for 41 per cent of the Atlantic province’s exports (City of St. John’s)

#7 - Nova Scotia received $4 billion in revenues from the now decommissioned Sable Offshore Energy Project from 1999-2018, one of two major projects in operation during the period (CAPP)

#8 - An estimated 120 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 8 billion barrels of oil sit offshore of Nova Scotia (Government of Nova Scotia)

#9 - More than 600 supply and service companies support Canada's offshore sector (NOIA)

#10 - Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore sector produces one of the lowest carbon-intensive barrels in the world, with an average of under 19 kg of CO2 equivalent (NOIA)

#11 - Carbon emissions in Canada's offshore oil and gas industry are estimated to be 30 per cent below the global average at extraction (NOIA)

#12 - Cumulative Canadian offshore industry expenditures from 1995 to 2019 totalled more than $50 billion (NOIA)

#13 - Newfoundland and Labrador is the largest producer of crude oil in eastern Canada and the third-largest oil-producing province after Alberta and Saskatchewan (CER)

#14 - From 1998 to 2019, cumulative royalties from offshore production totalled more than $23 billion to the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)

canadian offshore supports more than 600 supply and service companies in newfoundland and labrador

#15 - Newfoundland and Labrador’s oil and natural gas industry provided over 34,200 jobs through direct, indirect and induced labour in 2017 (NOIA)

#16 - Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore industry contributes to all of Canada, generating in other provinces an estimated $1.4 billion of economic activity (GDP), nearly 10,700 jobs, $755 million in labour income and $561 million worth of consumer spending in 2017 (NOIA)

#17 - From 2010–2017, household incomes in Newfoundland and Labrador were approximately $2.4 billion higher per year due to the offshore oil industry (NOIA)

#18 - $11 billion in provincial revenues for Newfoundland and Labrador could be lost by 2028 as a result of the cancellation or deferment of offshore oil and gas exploration projects in Canada (We Are NL Offshore)

#19 - More than $59 billion in GDP could be lost by 2028 due to cancellations, deferrals and suspensions of offshore activity and projects (We Are NL Offshore)

#20 - Independent resource assessments commissioned by the provincial government discovered that there is a combined resource potential of 63.6 billion barrels of oil and 224.1 trillion cubic feet of gas in just 10 per cent of Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore reserves (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)

#21 - From 2010 to 2017, total (direct, indirect and induced) economic benefits from Canada’s offshore oil and gas sector accounted for nearly 30 per cent of Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy, 13 per cent of its labour compensation and 10 per cent of employment (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)

#22 - Offshore oil development is jointly regulated by the federal and provincial governments through the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, which was established by the Atlantic Accord in 1986 (NOIA)

#23 - Cumulative expenditures by the oil and gas sector in Atlantic Canada totalled more than $66.8 billion from 1997 to 2017 (NOIA)

#24 - In 2016, the Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) and ExxonMobil Canada announced the Hibernia gravity-based structure produced its one billionth barrel of oil (Hibernia)

#25 - In Newfoundland and Labrador, there is the potential for 56,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs through the offshore oil and gas industry by 2033 (NOIA)

#26 - In Newfoundland and Labrador, there is the potential to create more than 22,700 jobs in other provinces through the offshore oil and gas industry by 2033 (NOIA)

#27 - A public opinion survey was recently conducted regarding support for the offshore oil and gas industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. It found that 83 per cent of respondents either completely or mostly support the industry (NOIA)

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