Looking for facts on oil sands, natural gas facts or facts on energy in general? We have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions and answers regarding our industry here, along with some helpful resources.

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How much does Canada’s oil and natural gas industry contribute to the country’s economy?

Canada’s oil and natural gas industry is a major driver in Canada’s economy, contributing to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), taxes and royalties, capital investment and jobs across the country.

Will we really need oil and natural gas as energy sources in the future?

Yes. For the foreseeable future, oil and natural gas are going to be important parts of the world’s energy supply as renewable energy sources alone won’t keep pace.

Where do we ship our oil and natural gas?

Currently, nearly all of Canada’s oil and natural gas exports go to one customer: the United States. That’s why it’s so important that we work hard to diversify our markets.

Oil Facts

How much foreign oil do we import each year? And which provinces use it?

In 2019, Canada imported $18.9 billion in oil from foreign suppliers. Currently, more than half the oil used in Quebec and Atlantic Canada is imported from foreign sources including the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Azerbaijan, Nigeria and Ivory Coast.

Which is correct – “oil sands” or “tar sands”?

The term “tar sands” was originally used in the industry’s early days to describe the tar-like consistency of bitumen. However, ‘oil’ is more accurate than ‘tar’ to describe the naturally occurring bitumen deposits.

Are the oil sands bad for the environment?

While those who are opposed to oil sands development often spread misinformation about this industry, the reality is the industry works hard to reduce environmental impacts and improve performance through constant innovation.

Natural Gas Facts

Does hydraulic fracturing cause earthquakes?

While the energy released by hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking) can cause induced seismicity, these are rarely felt on the surface because of low magnitude.

Aren’t most (or all) oil and natural gas jobs found in Alberta?

Definitely not. In fact, 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.

What is the industry doing to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions?

Reducing GHG emissions is an important global issue, and Canada’s oil and natural gas industry continues to reduce GHG emissions intensity using a variety of new technologies.

Pipeline Facts

How safe are pipelines?

Canada’s pipelines are among the safest in the world. In 2020, operators of transmission pipelines in Canada safely transported more than 1.3 billion barrels of crude oil and more than 4.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas across the country. (Source: Canadian Energy Pipelines Association CEPA, 2021)

What happens to old pipelines?

Old pipelines may be deactivated temporarily, decommissioned or retired, but old pipelines always remain the responsibility of the pipeline operator. Pipeline companies have a lifetime commitment to ensure their operations remain safe for the public and the environment, even if a pipeline isn’t being used. If a pipeline is removed from service, the operator follows procedures from the applicable regulator. (Source: CEPA, 2021)

Is gasoline transported by pipeline?

Yes, gasoline is transported by pipelines. Major pipelines connect Edmonton, the hub of western Canadian gasoline production, to major distribution hubs in B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba, then gasoline is distributed by truck or rail. In Eastern Canada, pipelines carry gasoline from refineries in Ontario and Quebec to distribution points in these provinces; from there, gasoline is transported by rail or truck throughout Central and Atlantic Canada. (Source: Canadian Energy Regulator)

What are the major advantages of pipelines?

Pipelines safely and efficiently deliver fuel to Canadians to heat their homes, drive their cars, or travel by bus, train, or by air. Without pipelines, large volumes of crude oil would have to be transported by other modes of transport, such as tanker trucks or rail cars. This would impact public safety, road maintenance, noise, and create more emissions that using pipelines.

How many pipelines are there in Canada?

Canada currently has more than 840,000 kilometres of pipelines cross Canada, and they are all regulated.