Oil and Gas in Canada: 75+ Facts

Canada ESG Record vs. Top Global Oil Exporters

Did you know that Canada is the world’s fourth-largest producer and exporter of oil and is also the fourth-largest producer and sixth largest exporter of natural gas?

Generating tens of billions in government revenues each year and employing hundreds of thousands of Canadians, the oil and gas sector is a major economic boon for our nation and an integral part of countless communities found in 12 of 13 provinces and territories across Canada. The sector is also a global leader on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics and a major employer of Indigenous Peoples.

But wait, there’s more!

Here’s a list of more than 75 facts on oil and gas in Canada that should bring you up-to-date on just how important our world-class industry is not only for our country, but also the global environment - and why we should be a global supplier of choice for decades to come. Also see:

Oil & Gas: General Facts

western canadian sedimentary basin - packers plus

Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin - Packers Plus

1 – Canada’s largest source of oil and gas is the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB), which spans across Northeastern British Columbia, Most of Alberta, Southern Saskatchewan and Southwestern Manitoba (PSAC)

2 – Canada is home to the world’s 3rd largest proven oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela with 171 billion barrels, of which 165 billion are located in the oil sands (PSAC)

3 – Of those billions of barrels, only 20 per cent is mineable while the remaining 80 per cent too deep and must be extracted using in situ methods (NRC)

4 – Approximately 97 per cent of Canada’s oil sands land surface area can only be developed using in situ methods which ensures minimal land disturbance

Canadian Oil Sands - Natural Resources Canada

Canadian Oil Sands - Natural Resources Canada

5 – Over 63 billion barrels of oil and 224 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves are estimated to be found offshore Newfoundland and Labrador (Nalcor Energy)

6 – Offshore operations on the east coast account for more than five per cent of Canada’s total oil production (NRC)

7 – Canada is home to the world’s 17th largest proven natural gas reserves (NRC)

8 – Canada’s vast natural gas reserves could sustain current production levels for up to 300 years (NRC)

9 – Canada’s first well was drilled in Ontario in 1858, making the industry more than 150 years old (PSAC)

10 – Canada has an extensive network of 840,000 kilometres of pipelines that carry crude oil to domestic and U.S. refineries (NRC)

Oil & Gas: The Economy

Canada Oil and Gas Sector Generated 493 Billion Government Revenues 2000-2018

11 – The oil and gas industry contributed $105 billion to Canada’s economy (GDP) in 2020 (CAPP)

12 – The oil and gas sector supported more than 500,000 direct and indirect jobs across the country in 2019 (CAPP)

13 – Between 2017-2019, an average of $10 billion in revenues was generated by the oil and gas sector for Canadian governments (CAPP)

14 – Oil sands companies spent $4 billion on supplies and services from 2,711 companies located in almost every province and territory of Canada in 2019 (CAPP)

15 – Oil and gas domestic exports were valued at $122 billion in 2019, of which 96 per cent were accounted for by the U.S. (NRC)

Canadian oil imports saudi arabia 2020

16 – Energy exports accounted for 23 per cent of Canada’s total goods exported in 2019, with oil and gas accounting for the lion’s share (NRC)

17 – Between 2014-2018, the energy sector’s share of total taxes paid by all industries was 7.4 per cent and brought in over 10 per cent of all operating revenues earned by governments in Canada (NRC)

18 – For every job created in the oil sands sector, 2.5 jobs are created elsewhere in Canada (CERI)

19 – $701 billion – cumulative fiscal contribution generated by the energy industry for Canadian governments between 2000-2019, $505 billion of which came from oil and gas (Canadian Energy Centre)

20 – $530 billion – total projected economic impact of all upstream oil and gas operations in Canada between 2020-2025 (CERI)

CERI Study 192 - Oil and Gas Economic Contribution 530 billion 2020-2025

21 – $300 billion – total projected economic impact of upstream oil sands operations in Canada between 2020-2025 (CERI)

22 – $177 billion - total projected economic impact of conventional upstream oil operations in Canada between 2020-2025 (CERI)

23 – $53 billion – total projected economic impact of upstream natural gas operations in Canada between 2020-2025 (CERI)

24 – $22.6 billion – total projected net tax revenues from upstream oil and gas operations in Canada between 2020-2025 (CERI)

25 – 2.4 million jobs – total projected full-time equivalent jobs created by upstream oil and gas operations in Canada between 2020-2025 (CERI)

Canadian offshore oil and gas facts 27,000 jobs supported

26 - Canada's Atlantic offshore oil and gas industry directly and indirectly employs about 27,000 people (NOIA)

27 - Canada's Atlantic offshore industry supports more than 600 supply and service companies (NOIA)

28 - Over the past decade, the offshore oil and gas industry has accounted for roughly 25 per cent of Newfoundland and Labrador's economy (NOIA)

29 - From 2020-2064, more than $94 billion of revenues could be generated by a healthy LNG industry for governments in British Columbia (Conference Board of Canada)

30 - From 2020-2064, about $158 billion of revenues could be generated by the B.C. LNG industry for Canadian governments (Conference Board of Canada)

LNG Industry British Columbia Job Facts

31 - From 2020-2064, more than $500 billion of new investment into Canada could be created by a healthy LNG industry in British Columbia (Conference Board of Canada)

32 - From 2020-2064, more than 71,000 jobs could be created within British Columbia by a healthy LNG industry (Conference Board of Canada)

33 - From 2020-2064, close to 100,000 jobs could be created across Canada by a healthy LNG industry in British Columbia (Conference Board of Canada)

Oil & Gas: The Environment

Canada ESG Scores vs Top 15 Global Reserve Holders

34 – Of the world’s top 10 oil exporters, Canada ranks number one on the following ESG indexes:

35 – Canada’s oil and gas industry ranks number one for ESG practices among nations with the largest oil reserves (BMO Capital Markets)

36 – Of the world’s top 20 producers, the sector ranks 2nd on social progress and governance, and 4th on the environment (BMO Capital Markets)

37 – Between 2000-2018, the emission intensity of Canada’s oil sands operations decreased by 36 per cent due to technological and efficiency improvements, fewer venting emissions, and reductions in the percentage of bitumen being upgraded to synthetic crude oil (NRC)

38 – The emissions intensity of the oil sands is projected to improve another 16 to 23 per cent by 2030 (IHS Markit)

WNMC 36% GHG Emissions Intensity Reduction Oil and Gas 2000-2018

39 – Alberta, accounting for ~80 per cent of Canada’s oil production, is one of the few global oil jurisdictions with mandatory disclosures, regulated emissions protocols and carbon taxes on excess GHGs (BMO Capital Markets)

40 – In 2007, Alberta was the 1st jurisdiction in North America and one of the first in the world just behind the European Union to take climate action with mandatory GHG emission reduction targets for large industrial emitters (BMO Capital Markets)

41 – Canada’s oil sands sector has invested more than $9.3 billion into research and development since 2009 – notably higher than other major global oil producers on a per barrel basis (BMO Capital Markets)

42 – The Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is a unique alliance rarely seen between competing companies across the globe, where oil sands producers come together to focus on improving environmental performance through collaboration and innovation. COSIA members account for over 90 per cent of oil sands production (COSIA)

43 – Between 2012-2018, COSIA members:

  • Saw a net reduction in water use from the Athabasca River in mining operations by 18 per cent
  • Collectively reduced freshwater use intensity at in situ operations by 42 per cent
  • Collectively reduced GHG emissions intensities at mining operations by 9 per cent
  • Collectively reduced GHG emissions intensities at in situ operations by 11 per cent

WNMC 36% GHG Emissions Intensity Reduction Oil and Gas 2000-2018

44 – Gas flaring in Alberta has dropped by 57 per cent since 2000 despite significant growth in oil and gas production, making Canada one of the lowest gas flaring oil producers globally (BMO Capital Markets)

45 – Between 2015-2019, Canada decreased its total volume of gas flared from oil and gas operations by 42 per cent (Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report: July 2020)

46 – Canada was responsible for just 0.67 per cent of the 150 billion cubic metres (m3) of gas flared by oil companies around the world in 2019 (Global Gas Flaring Tracker Report: July 2020)

47 – Flaring / venting emissions associated with crude oil and oil sands operations has dropped by 68 per cent since 1996 (BMO Capital Markets)

48 – If the rest of the world followed Canada’s flaring standards, total GHG emissions from every barrel produced would drop by 23 per cent

Canada Oil Industry Gas Flaring Volumes 2020

49 – Only 10.5 per cent of global crude oil production is subject to carbon pricing, with Canada accounting for about 4.2 per cent of world production (NBF, World Bank, EIA)

50 – Canada was the first country in the world to commit to reducing methane emissions from oil and gas production by 45 per cent by 2025 (vs. 2012 levels) (Government of Canada)

51 – Canada is the only top oil reserve holder and major oil producing country that has sent up a satellite to track and monitor methane emissions from oil production (Government of Canada)

52 – About 80 per cent of the world does not participate in any form of emissions management; Canada is a global leader in emissions management (Scotiabank)

53 – With GHG intensities down by roughly 24 per cent since 2012, oil sands now emit just 4 to 6 per cent more than the global average on a well-to-wheels basis; several newer projects already boast below-average carbon footprints (BMO Capital Markets)

54 – If emissions related to the consumption of refined product are included, Canadian-sourced heavy oil barrels are competitive (within 10 per cent of the global average for the majority of oil sands barrels even before applying the impacts of new technologies) (TD Securities)

55 – A typical steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) oil sands project requires up to 75 per cent fewer wells over its lifetime than a comparable U.S. tight oil project does to sustain production (BMO Capital Markets)

56 – The Alberta Carbon Trunk Line (ACTL) is the largest system of its kind in the world, able to transport up to 14.6 million tonnes of CO2 each year from emission sources to mature oil fields to be used in enhanced oil recovery methods (EOR) before being stored permanently underground (ACTL)

57 – Between 2009-2018, major oil sands producers have planted more than 25 million trees as part of reclamation and tree planting activities in and around operations (BMO Capital Markets)

58 – Canada is home to 4 of 18 large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects currently operating around the world, or about 18 per cent of the world’s total.

LNG Canada can displace up to 40 coal-fired power plants

59 – Canada’s oil and gas industry is by far the largest spender on clean technology in the country, accounting for roughly 75% of all investments made on average each year (Financial Post)

60 – Canada is home to one of the only oil and gas producers that is net negative for upstream carbon emissions (Whitecap)

61 – A strict regulatory regime makes it mandatory for all land disturbed by extraction and production of oil and gas to be 100% reclaimed to a natural, self-sustaining state (AER)

62 - LNG Canada, a new natural gas liquefaction and export facility on the west coast, is projected to operate with about 50 per cent the GHG emission intensity of the global LNG facility average, producing the most competitive carbon footprint gas in the world

63 - A fully developed LNG Canada could reduce global CO2 emissions by an amount equal to 15 per cent of Canada's overall GHG emissions by displacing coal-fired power generation in China.

Oil & Gas: Indigenous & Communities

Oil sands producers spent $5.9 billion on indigenous suppliers from 2017-2019

64 – Oil sands producers acquired $5.9 billion of goods and services from Indigenous suppliers between 2017-2019 (CAPP)

65 – Oil sands producers invested more than $64 million in Indigenous communities in 2019, up from $58 million in 2018 and $41.8 million in 2017 (CAPP)

66 – 7.4 per cent of workers in Canada’s oil and gas sector identified as Indigenous in 2019, up from 4.8 per cent in 2018 (CAPP)

67 – Since 2012, oil sands operators have spent more than $80 million a year on average to support community resilience programs, education and skills development, and youth and Indigenous engagement (BMO Capital Markets)

68 – Since 2012, oil sands producers have spent $13 billion on Indigenous sourced products and services on average per year (BMO Capital Markets)

LNG Canada Donates $300,000 to Indigenous post-secondary students

69 – In 2018, average female employment in the oil sands sector improved to 22%, up from 20% in 2016 (BMO Capital Markets)

70 – Since 2012, the number of workplace injuries has dropped 50% to a record low of 0.38 incidents per 200,000 work hours in 2018 (BMO Capital Markets)

71 – In 2015-2016, there were nearly 400 Indigenous companies in 65 communities across Alberta who had direct business dealings with oil sands operators worth approximately $3.33 billion (CERI)

Oil & Gas: Global Supply & Demand

Global Demand Tanker Map - BMO Oil to 2040 Hype - March 2021-04

72 – The world will need up to $17 trillion of additional investment into the oil and gas sector by 2040 to avoid supply shortages (IEA, Exxon)

73 – Global liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand is expected to nearly double to 700 million tonnes by 2040 (Shell)

74 – Up to $20 trillion of new investment in upstream oil and gas operations is required through to 2050 to keep up with global demand (BP)

75 – To meet the global cumulative demand over the next 30 years, undeveloped and undiscovered resources totalling 313 billion barrels of oil need to be added to currently producing assets (Rystad Energy)

76 – An additional 27 to 30 million barrels of oil equivalent will be needed by 2022 to close the gap between dropping production levels and output declines in existing fields (IEF & BCG)

Join Us Today!

Canada Action - Banner

Support Canadian oil and gas families and learn more about the world-class work they do by joining us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook today. Hope to see you there!

Back to Oil in Canada.