Canada's Petroleum Resources 

Canada is the third largest producer of natural gas, the fifth largest energy producer and the sixth largest producer of crude oil in the world.

Canada has extensive oil and natural gas resources right across the country. We are active in 12 of 13 provinces and territories.

Canadian energy production has almost doubled since 1980. Our oil reserves total 174 billion barrels, of which 169 billion barrels can be recovered from the oil sands using today's technology. As of December 2012, we are third to Venezuela and Saudi Arabia in terms of global oil reserves (source: Oil & Gas Journal).

As an industry, our challenge is getting access to these remaining reserves. Often they exist in remote locations, which can mean harsh environments for our workers, technically complex and expensive methods of production, and environmental challenges.


Canada has approximately six billion barrels of oil located outside the oil sands. These can be found primarily in Alberta, Saskatchewan and offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.

Find out more about Canada’s oil resources

Oil Sands

The oil sands provide a secure supply in a world of political risk. There are challenges in developing the oil sands, but our industry is making progress through investment in technology and innovation. The entry costs for new oil sands projects can be daunting, but the decline in availability of traditional energy sources makes the oil sands key to our energy future.

Find out more about Canada’s oil sands

Natural Gas

Canada is also home to a large amount of natural gas, particularly in British Columbia, Alberta and offshore Nova Scotia. The easier-to-produce sources of natural gas are in decline, so our industry is starting to work in areas that were once considered too difficult to produce. These include natural gas from coal, tight gas, offshore gas and shale gas and we are increasing exploration and development in Northern Canada.

Find out more about Canada’s natural gas reserves

Did you know?

The International Energy Agency says the world must find an extra 64 million barrels a day of oil production by 2030, equivalent to replacing Kuwait's output every year, to counter the decline of production in existing oil fields.
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CAPP's Canadian Crude Oil Forecast and Market Outlook CAPP releases its Canadian Crude Oil Forecast and Market Outlook annually in late spring.

Download the forecast at