Canada's Petroleum Industry: By the Numbers

Canada's Petroleum Industry: By the Numbers

Are you wondering about the facts when it comes to Canada’s oil and natural gas industry? There's been a lot of misinformation put out there about Canada's energy sector in the past several years... it's important that both sides of the discussion are heard and that the benefits of oil and gas in Canada are well known!

Here’s 25 quick facts that will get you up to speed on the importance of this industry to Canada AND the world as a whole:


Canadian Energy: General

Canada is responsible when it comes to oil production

  1. Alberta’s oil sands are the 3rd largest proven oil reserves in the world next to Venezuela (1st) and Saudi Arabia (2nd) – with approximately 164 billion barrels (bbl) of the 170 billion total found in Canada
  2. Of the total amount of barrels, about 20 percent is extractable via mining while 80 percent is extractable through in-situ methods
  3. There’s approximately 142,200 square kilometres (km2) of land in the Athabasca, Cold Lake and Peace River areas of Northern Alberta that’s underlain by the oil sands
  4. Only 3 percent of the oil sands land area can be used for mining operations because the rest are at depths which require drilling to access (more than 75 metres)
  5. Approximately 63 percent of Canada’s total crude oil production in 2017 was from the oil sands
  6. About 1.3 million barrels per day – or 45 percent of the total bitumen produced in Canada – was upgraded in Canada in 2016
  7. Transport Canada reported in 2016 that about 580 million barrels of oil are safely transported by tankers along Canada’s eastern and western coasts
  8. Clear Seas says that in 2017 oil tankers represented just 2 percent of the total ship traffic coming in and out of Port Metro Vancouver
  9. About 140,000 barrels of western Canadian crude oil is moved via rail every day in 2017. According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, rail loading capacity in Western Canada tops out at about 770,000 barrels per day in 2018
  10. The Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) found that in 2015 and 2016, there were 399 total indigenous companies in 65 communities across Alberta who had direct business dealings with oil sands operators worth approximately $3.33 billion

Canadian Energy & the Economypatricia mohr economist talking about oil industry in Canada and its contribution to GDP

  1. About 140,300 people were employed in Alberta’s upstream energy sector in 2017
  2. Alberta’s oil sands are good for business in other parts of Canada! In 2014 and 2015, over 3,400 companies across the nation in all provinces and territories supplied the oil sands with goods and services.
  3. CERI estimates that over the next two decades, the oil sands industry will contribute about $170 billion to the Canadian economy per year for a total of $1.7 trillion over two decades
  4. CERI also estimates that between 2017 and 2027, the oil sands industry will pay about $25 billion into government coffers every year for a total of $256 billion
  5. CERI found that for every job created in the oil sands industry, 2.5 indirect jobs were created in the rest of Canada as a result
  6. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and Prism Economics found that in 2017, the oil sands supported and created about 223,000 direct and indirect jobs across the nation

Canadian Energy & the Environment

Canadian fair trade oil and gas produced to best environmental standards in world

  1. The Government of Alberta requires that disturbed land used to extract oil sands by energy companies is 100 percent remediated
  2. Canada produces less than 2 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The oil sands accounts for just 0.15 percent of the world’s total GHG emissions.
  3. Projects in the oil sands recycle a large amount of the water they use – about 78 to 97 percent of the total amount – according to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER)
  4. Transport Canada reported in 2016 that oil tankers moving oil off the coast of British Columbia have been operating safely and regularly for about 80 years!
  5. Statistics Canada reported that its oil and gas industry spent $6.5 billion of the total $11.8 billion spent by Canadian businesses in 2014 to protect the environment
  6. The oil sands industry used about 8 percent of the province’s total water allocation in 2016 – only a quarter of which was actually used

Canadian Energy & Investment

economic literacy showing how much our economy benefits from oil and gas in Canada

  1. Canada’s oil and natural gas industry is the largest private sector investor, with nearly $13 billion being generated by the oil sands and put into the economy in 2017
  2. Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is an alliance comprised of producers in the oil sands who have invested over $1.4 billion collectively to date in order to improve environmental performance through new technologies and innovation.
  3. Only 19 percent of the world’s total oil reserves are accessible for investment to the private sector, 52 percent of which is located in Canada’s oil sands

Sources: Alberta Energy Regulator, Government of Alberta, Statistics Canada,Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Transport Canada, Canadian Energy Research Institute

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