Oil is a vital source of Canadian energy. Canada has the third-largest oil reserves in the world, with 168 billion barrels at the end of 2020, as reported in the bp Statistical Review of World Energy 2021. The production of those reserves is governed by some of the world’s strictest environmental and governance regulations.
The exploration and production of oil in Canada are supported by goods and services sourced throughout the country. The industry accounts for a significant proportion of Canada’s GDP and sustains tens of thousands of jobs each year.
The combination of Canada’s strict environmental standards and the investment of billions of dollars in innovative technology should make Canada a preferred source of production to meet domestic and global demand until at least 2040.
Canada’s environmental standards are among the highest in the world. As a result, the oil industry continues to invest in technologies and processes to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The industry has made progress on reducing emissions intensity and environmental impact. Industry members acknowledge that more progress must be made, investing millions of dollars each year to develop cleaner and more productive technologies and processes. The Canadian Oilsands Industry Alliance (COSIA), for example, ensures that environmental technologies are shared across the industry. In addition, producers that account for over 90 per cent of oilsands production have jointly committed to an Oilsands Pathway to Net-Zero by 2050.
Canada’s industry has an opportunity to lead in reducing global emissions driving considerable investment in technology and innovation at scale. These negative emissions technologies include innovations like carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS), in which Canada is a leader and both public and private sector companies see opportunity to commercialize the technology for use around the world.
Canadian oil producers consider strong ESG performance as a way to distinguish the Canadian industry. For example, Canadian hydrocarbon producers have committed to reducing methane emissions by 2025 to a level that is 45 per cent below 2012 levels.
Industry members are committed to transparent, internationally verifiable disclosure regarding their environmental and social performance. By law, all lands disturbed by oil development must be reclaimed and restored to a natural state. Canadian oil producers take this commitment seriously. The industry deals respectfully with Indigenous peoples, local communities, regulators and governments to ensure that their rights and interests are respected and to meet Canada’s regulatory standards.