Energy & Economy 

Canada's oil sands are a stable and secure supply of energy providing economic benfits to the entire country.

What are the Oil Sands?

What are the oil sands

Oil sands are a mixture of sand, water, clay and bitumen.

Bitumen is oil that is too heavy or thick to flow or be pumped without being diluted or heated – at 11 degrees Celsius bitumen is as hard as a hockey puck.

Canada’s oil sands are found in three deposits – the Athabasca, Peace River and Cold Lake areas in Alberta and part of Saskatchewan. The greatest quantity is found in the Athabasca deposit.

The oil sands are sometimes called tar sands. Read more about what the oil sands are.


Our Energy Challenge

North America runs on oil, coal, and natural gas. Although a larger share of our needs will be met through increased use of hydro-electricity, wind, solar, nuclear, and other forms of renewable and alternative energy, fossil fuels will continue to play an important role in our nation’s energy mix in the foreseeable future.

Securing that future means finding a secure supply. And one growing solution is the natural bitumen deposits that make up Canada’s oil sands.

Read more about Oil Sands
and North America's energy demands


Oil Sands and Economy

When most Canadians think of oil sands, they think of Alberta. After all, Alberta holds the lion’s share of Canada’s oil sands. Yet the benefits of this vast resource of buried bitumen extend well beyond Alberta’s borders – and well into the future.

Today, every dollar invested in the oil sands creates about $8 in economic activity, with much of that economic value generated outside Alberta – in Canada, the U.S., and around the world..

Read more about how Oil Sands
generate benefits across Canada

Poll Results: Canadians back increased market access for Canadian oil

Tar Sands or Oil Sands?


The term "tar sands" was coined by early industry to describe the oil sands deposits found in northern Alberta. "Oil sands" is an accurate term.

Read more about tar sands or oil sands

Guiding Principles for Oil Sands Development

Canada’s oil sands industry will provide a secure source of energy, reduce its impact on the environment and provide economic benefits to society while developing this globally significant resource.

The Facts on Oil Sands

The Facts on Oil Sands

CAPP's pocket book is designed to give you fast, easy access to oil sands facts that will help you get in on the discussion.

Read the Facts on Oil Sands
(Designed for Canadians)

Read About Canada's Oil Sands
(Designed for Americans)


For media inquiries contact:

Geraldine Anderson
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
P: 403-267-1151


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