Alberta is widely regarded as being the energy province in Canada. At the center of it all is Edmonton, which stands as a hub for the energy sector. Oil and natural gas are sent through the city to reach pipelines that take the products to refineries in Canada and the United States.
The production of oil is critical to the health of the local economy. When prices for energy drop, the economy of Alberta tends to slide into a recession. That makes it difficult on the average person, as 81% of the energy resources found in the province are privately owned. This creates some unique challenges for the industry, especially as the need for extra production continues to grow.
It is a highly competitive industry which requires immediate skills for employment. That is one of the reasons why 2 out of 3 working young adults has a 4-year undergraduate degree.
Important Edmonton Oil Industry Statistics
#1. Alberta’s oil sands accounted for just 8% of Canada’s overall greenhouse gas emissions. Canada is responsible for a total of 1.6% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. (Alberta Economic Development and Trade)
#2. The oil and gas sector in Alberta is responsible for 17% of the province’s GDP each year. In 1986, the oil industry was responsible for 23.2% of the GDP. (Alberta Economic Development and Trade)
#3. Oil and gas price declines in 2016 caused the provincial economy to go into a recession, contracting by 3.7%. (Alberta Economic Development and Trade)
#4. Crude petroleum accounted for $43.3 billion worth of Alberta’s total merchandise exports in 2016. Petrochemicals were responsible for $7.9 million, while gas and gas liquids provided another $7.4 billion. (Alberta Economic Development and Trade)
#5. Alberta produced 81% of the crude oil in Canada and two-thirds of the natural gas. The province is home to the third-largest proven oil reserves in the world, behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. (Alberta Economic Development and Trade)
#6. By 2025, the production of bitumen, both upgraded and non-upgraded, is expected to increase by 60% through the year 2025. In 2015, 2.4 million barrels per day were produced from the oil sands. (Alberta Economic Development and Trade)
#7. Total revenues from all hydrocarbons produced by the Alberta oil industry were valued at $56.8 billion. Bitumen and synthetic crude oil account for 63.5% of the total gross revenues. (Alberta Economic Development and Trade)
#8. Energy resource exports from the Edmonton oil industry in Alberta totaled $51 billion, which reflected over 65% of the total commodity exports for the year. (Alberta Economic Development and Trade)
#9. Non-conventional production constitutes almost 84% of the oil production which occurs around Edmonton and throughout Alberta for the industry. In March 2018, production levels were up 12% over the year before. (Statistics Canada)
#10. Total exports from the oil and gas services sector in 2014 totaled $3 billion. That figure is an increase of 7% over the year before. (Statistics Canada)
#11. There are currently 8,600 firms operating within the oil industry in Edmonton and Alberta right now. Altogether, these firms are providing 110,000 direct employment opportunities to the province. (Statistics Canada)
#12. About 70% of the oil production that the province achieves each year comes from the oil sands that are around Edmonton and to the north. (National Energy Board of Canada)
#13. Alberta only has 4 active refineries to support the efforts of the oil industry around Edmonton. These refineries have the capability of processing up to 474,000 barrels of oil per day. That makes the province the largest refining region in Canada. (National Energy Board of Canada)
#14. About 10% of the total electricity production generated in Canada comes from the oil and gas sector in Alberta. Around 80 MW is produced each year, although the total capacity of the province is over 16,000 MW. (National Energy Board of Canada)
#15. There are over 257,000 miles of pipeline installed in Canada to help support the Edmonton oil industry and its affiliates. (Statistics Canada)
#16. In 2016, because of the recession the economy of Alberta faced, the number of employment opportunities available in the oil and gas sector declined by 6%. (Statistics Canada)
#17. Over $270 billion in oil and gas sector investments have been provided by the Canadian government in the past decade. About 80% of those investments have been directed to facilities and opportunities in and around the Edmonton oil industry. (Statistics Canada)
#18. When processing bitumen, it requires about 4 gallons of new water to turn the product into a usable barrel of oil. Through improved recycling efforts, producers are now capable of recycling up to 80% of the water they use during production. (Statistics Canada)
#19. The United States is responsible for 99% of the provincial export market involving the oil and gas sector. 20% of the crude oil used in U.S.-based refineries originates from Edmonton and the rest of Alberta. (Statistics Canada)
#20. 54% of the extraction methods involve the in situ method, which is used on about 80% of the current resources. That is because most of the oil formations found around Edmonton are located at a depth of 75 meters or greater. There are more than 20 projects using this method currently active in the province. (Statistics Canada)
#21. With Edmonton’s help, Canada is the fourth-largest producer of crude oil in the world today. The country is also the third-largest exporter of oil. (Natural Resources Canada)
#22. The greenhouse gas emissions per barrel of oil produced from the Alberta oil sands has fallen by more than 35% since 1990. (Natural Resources Canada)
#23. 19% of the oil sands reserves produce bitumen by using the mining method. Six of the largest mining projects in Alberta produced over 100,000 barrels per day in 2016. (Natural Resources Canada)
#24. 42% of the bitumen that is taken raw is sent for upgrading to a facility in Alberta. (Natural Resources Canada)
Edmonton Oil Industry Trends and Analysis
The government of Alberta committed to $1.3 billion in commercial-scale carbon capture technologies to enhance emissions storage. It is one of the largest commitments in the world so far and reflects an ongoing commitment to the overall oil industry found in Edmonton and throughout the province.
There are some renewable energy targets which have been set by Alberta’s government to increase the amount of renewable energy that is available. By 2030, the goal is to have 30% of the electricity used to come from a renewable source. That will cut into the potential energy potential from the oil industry.
The goal is to nearly double bitumen production from Alberta by the year 2023, to reach 4.1 million barrels per day. There are many infrastructure issues which must be addressed for this goal to be reached. Air, water, and land management issues are substantial barriers. At the same time, expansion means opportunity for this industry.