Industry Across Canada

Canada's oil and natural gas industry is active in 12 of 13 provinces and territories. Using goods and services from many regions, Canada's exploration and production of oil and natural gas is truly a national industry.
Canada's oil and natural gas resources

Alberta

Alberta is Canada's largest oil and natural gas producer and is home to vast deposits of oil sands. Canada's oil sands are found in three deposits - the Athabasca, Peace River and Cold Lake deposits located in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Alberta also has plentiful natural gas resource – estimated at 403 trillion cubic feet (tcf), of which 170 tcf has been produced. To put that into context, one tcf of natural gas will heat all gas-heated homes in Canada – almost five million – for two years.

Quick facts

  • $5 billion - in payments industry made for the use of Alberta's oil and gas resources in fiscal 2017/18, seven per cent of total government revenue
  • $6 billion - average industry payment to the province over the last five years
  • $77 billion - in payments to the provincial government over the last 10 years
  • $17 billion - in industry spending on exploration and development in conventional areas in 2017
  • $14 billion - in capital spending in the oil sands in 2017
  • 10.4 billion - cubic feet per day of marketable natural gas produced in 2017
  • 446,000 - barrels per day of conventional oil produced in 2017
  • 2.7 million - barrels per day produced from the oil sands in 2017
  • 4 refineries – with capacity to produce 462,000 barrels per day of oil or 23% of Canada's total refining capacity
  • 4 upgraders – with capacity to upgrade 1.4 million barrels per day of oil 

British Columbia

British Columbia is Canada's second largest natural gas producer.

British Columbia is home to the Horn River and Montney natural gas basins. The basins are estimated to contain up to 349 trillion cubic feet of ultimate marketable natural gas resources, enough to last 300-plus years at current demand levels. Oil reserves in British Columbia are located in the northeast area of the province. British Columbia production averages about 21,000 barrels/day, or about two per cent of Canada's production.

Quick facts

  • #2 - in the amount of natural gas produced among Canadian provinces
  • $498 million - payments industry made in royalties and crown land sales for the use of British Columbia's oil and gas resources in fiscal 2017/18
  • $4 billion - in industry spending on exploration and development in 2017
  • 4.7 billion - cubic feet per day of natural gas produced in 2017
  • 21,000 - barrels per day of crude oil produced in 2017

Manitoba

With the development of the Sinclair field, Manitoba has increased its crude oil production almost four-fold since 2000 and is now almost 40,000 barrels per day. There is no natural gas production in Manitoba.

Quick facts

  • #4 - in the amount of crude oil produced among Canadian provinces
  • 38,500 - barrels per day oil production in 2017
  • $0.34 billion - in industry spending on exploration and development in 2017

New Brunswick

New Brunswick is home to the Frederick Brook Shale, which roughly stretches across the southeastern part of the province and is part of the Maritimes Basin.

In December 2014, the Government of New Brunswick introduced a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the province and indicated that five conditions must be met in order for the moratorium to be lifted.

Quick facts

  • 3.2 million - cubic feet/day in natural gas production in 2017
  • 32 - the total number of natural gas wells producing
  • 78 - is the total estimated natural gas resource from shale measured in trillion cubic feet
  • 302 - the total number of oil and natural gas wells drilled in the province
  • 121,379 - the total number hectares leased
  • 32 - licences to search over 1 million hectares

Newfoundland and Labrador 

Newfoundland and Labrador has four producing projects offshore oil projects and significant exploration activity.

With significant deposits of crude oil, Newfoundland and Labrador is currently producing about 250,000 barrels of oil per day from its current offshore oil projects –HiberniaTerra NovaWhite Rose and Hebron.

The first remote deepwater project, the Bay du Nord, was approved in July 2017. Discovered in 2013, the Bay du Nord is expected to be sanctioned in 2020. It has reserves of nearly 300 million barrels of oil with first oil expected in 2025.

Quick facts

  • $3.2 billion - in industry spending on exploration and development in 2017
  • $920 million - estimated payments to the province from offshore oil production in 2017/18
  • $21 billion - estimated royalty payments to the province from offshore oil production between 2000-2017
  • 16% - share of total provincial revenues from oil royalties in 2018/19
  • 221,000 - barrels per day of oil produced in 2017

Northern Canada

The Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon have large, untapped resources of crude oil and natural gas. With modern technology and higher prices for oil and natural gas, the North is attracting a growing number of petroleum producers. Considerable exploration and development is underway, especially in the southern part of the territory. The oil and natural gas industry has acquired offshore oil and gas interests and there are some active exploration programs in the Northwest Territories and Yukon.

In November 2016, the Norman Wells pipeline was shut-in because of safety concerns regarding slope stability on the south bank of the Mackenzie River. As a result, production at Norman Wells was suspended and an NEB hearing for the replacement of the affected segment concluded in late October 2017. Effective October 2018 production has resumed.

Quick facts 

  • 9,000 - barrels of conventional oil produced per day in the Territories in 2016 
  • 5.4 million - cubic feet per day of natural gas production in 2016 

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia's first offshore well was drilled in 1967, with the first offshore discovery was at Sable Island in 1971. To date, about 127 exploration wells have been drilled offshore Nova Scotia, yielding 23 significant discoveries. 

Nova Scotia currently has one producing natural gas project: the Sable Offshore Energy Project

The government of Nova Scotia estimates Nova Scotia's offshore resource potential at more than eight billion barrels of oil and 120 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Significant exploration programs are also underway. Onshore, more than 125 exploration wells have been drilled in various parts of the province, with small amounts of petroleum discovered in about one-third of these wells. To date, there has not been any commercial production of onshore oil or natural gas resources in Nova Scotia. 

Quick facts 

  • $8.5 billion - in capital spending by the industry over the last 20 years 
  • $1.9 billion - estimated royalty payments to the province from offshore production between 2000 - 2017 
  • 120 trillion - cubic feet of natural gas in offshore resource potential
  • 8 billion - barrels of oil in resource potential 

Ontario

Although Ontario is not a significant producer of petroleum, the province has almost 2,400 producing oil and gas wells. Ontario's manufacturing sector is an important supplier for Canada's oil and natural gas industry. In 2014 and 2015, the oil sands sector spent $3.9 billion on goods and services from 1,500 companies located in Ontario.

Quick facts

  • 12% of jobs created by the oil and gas industry from 2017 to 2027 will be in Ontario*
  • 2,385 - number of producing oil and natural gas wells in Ontario in 2017
  • 394,700 barrels per day - Ontario's refining capacity which accounts for 20% of Canadian refining capacity
  • 1,600 companies - estimated number of companies from across Ontario that directly supply the oil sands with a variety of goods and services
  • $153 billion - contributed by the oil and natural gas sector to Ontario's economy from 2017 to 2027*
  • $12.6 billion - in taxes to the provincial government from 2017 to 2027 as a result of oil and natural gas sector activities across Canada*

(Source: Canadian Energy Research Institute)

Prince Edward Island 

Prince Edward Island's oil and natural gas industry is still in its infancy. However, in excess of one million acres of land are under active exploration for oil and natural resources. There have been no exploration wells drilled in PEI since 2003

Quick facts

  • 1943 - the year Canada's first offshore well was drilled off Prince Edward Island

Quebec 

Québec has enough natural gas to meet its own needs for an estimated 100 years or more, most of it concentrated along the southern flank of the St. Lawrence River in the province's portion of the Utica shale formation.

Québec remains a vital part of our industry, providing needed goods, materials and services to construct and operate oil sands projects.

Quick facts

  • 402,000 barrels per day - Québec's refining capacity
  • 400 companies - estimated number of companies from across Québec that directly supply the oil sands with a variety of goods and services
  • $45 billion - will be contributed by the oil and natural gas sector to Québec's economy from 2017 to 2027*
  • $5 billion - in taxes to the provincial government from 2017 to 2027 as a result of oil and natural gas sector activities across Canada*

(Source: Canadian Energy Research Institute)

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan has about seven billion barrels of crude oil and about 9.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. To date, over six billion barrels of oil and 7.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas have been produced.

Quick facts

  •  #2 - in the amount of oil produced among Canadian provinces, accounting for 12 per cent of Canada's oil production
  •  485,000 - barrels per day in oil production in 2017
  •  $721 million - in payments industry made for the use of Saskatchewan's oil and natural gas resources in fiscal 2017/18
  •  $4.2 billion - in industry spending on exploration and development in 2017
  •  1.4 Tcf - remaining marketable natural gas reserves at 2017
  •  725 million - barrels of remaining crude oil reserves at 2017
  •  36,560 - number of producing oil wells in 2017