Oil and Gas Matters

The world uses oil and gas to make energy which allows us to drive cars and trucks, fuel jet planes and heat our homes. It also helps us make products we use every day, like cell phones, bicycles and running shoes.

How it got here

Oil and natural gas are found in underground layers of sedimentary rocks, formed over millions of years by the accumulation in sedimentary basins of sand, silt and the remains of plants and animals. Over time, these layers of rock, sand and fossilized plant and animal life were heated and pressurized, forming pockets, or reserves, of oil and gas deep underground. 
Today, oil and gas are located across Canada, with especially large reserves in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. But there are oil and gas reserves in every province and territory.  
Canada has lots of oil and gas – more than enough for just our needs. We have the third-largest oil reserves in the entire world and Canada is the fifth-largest gas producer. This means that Canada could supply the entire world (especially developing countries like China and India) with oil and gas to produce energy for years to come. 

How we get it 

Companies that are part of the Canadian energy industry find and extract oil and gas out of the ground. There are several steps involved, including: 

  • Finding oil and gas reserves 
  • Drilling wells
  • Mining Canada’s oil sands (a type of oil unique to Canada that is close to the surface of the earth in some spots and can be dug up by shovels) 
  • Pumping oil and natural gas to the surface 
  • Storing and processing oil and natural gas to make a usable product 
  • Selling and moving the product to consumers 
Workers on a drilling rig
Photo courtesy of Cenovus Energy

Canada’s oil and gas industry employs more than 500,000 workers to help us get oil and gas out of the ground, convert it into usable products and deliver it to consumers who need it.

Take a closer look at Canada’s oil and gas workers. In this video, you will see Canadian workers on real oil and gas worksites. They are drilling wells on equipment called a drilling rig. Rigs operate 24 hours a day, often in extreme weather conditions and remote locations. Canadian drilling rigs – and workers – meet some of the highest regulatory and safety standards in the world.  The technologies behind rig equipment and drilling techniques are continuously improving to become more efficient and safer for workers and the environment. Today, Canada has a fleet of just over 600 rigs, which include both automated and conventional drilling rigs. 

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