10 Fast Facts about Canada’s oil & gas

Unbiased information about the oil and gas industry can be hard to come by. Here are 10 facts about Canada’s industry that you should know.
By Ven Venkatachalam

Canada’s oil and gas indus­try is not only com­plex and ever-chang­ing, it has a direct impact on the lives of Cana­di­ans across the coun­try. But some­times it may seem like infor­ma­tion about this crit­i­cal indus­try is biased or hard to come by. Here are 10 real facts about Canada’s oil and gas indus­try that high­light its impor­tance to our econ­o­my and its com­mit­ment to envi­ron­men­tal excellence.


1. Canada’s oil and gas industry paid over $500 billion in federal, provincial and local taxes, royalties, and fees since 2000.

3. In 2017, the GDP associated with the Canadian oil and gas sector totalled $128 billion, or 6.4% of the economy. 

4. The cumulative value of Canada’s oil and natural gas exports was over $1.94 trillion between 1988 and 2019.

5. Worldwide imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) rose from 144 billion cubic metres (BCM) in 2000 to 470 BCM in 2019.

The sharpest rise in LNG imports by vol­ume occurred in Asia (up 237 BCM). The Asia-Pacif­ic region, with LNG imports of 346 BCM in 2019, made up 74% of the world share of all LNG imports.

6. The Canada-United States energy pipeline network is a critical component of North American energy security, carrying crude oil, natural gas, and refined petroleum products.

Com­bined, this pipeline net­work is over 453,000 kilo­me­tres long, 11 times the earth’s cir­cum­fer­ence. The eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits of the Canada‑U.S. ener­gy pipeline net­work are near­ly $60 bil­lion in GDP, pro­vid­ing more than 63,400 jobs in the industry.

7. The number of landed immigrants employed in Canada’s oil and gas sector increased to 15,600 in 2020, up from 8,800 in 2006.

In 2020, the aver­age week­ly wage for land­ed immi­grants employed in the oil and gas  sec­tor was $2,161, com­pared to the $1,264 week­ly aver­age for all industries.

8. Canada’s oil and gas sector is estimated to account for just 0.4% of global GHG emissions.

The oil sands sub-sec­tor itself is esti­mat­ed to account for just 0.2% of glob­al GHG emis­sions. Canada’s oil and gas pro­duc­ers spent $3.1 bil­lion on envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion in 2019, the high­est of all 20 indus­tries sur­veyed. This is more than one third of total envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion spend­ing in Cana­da, and more than triple the spend of the next-high­est indus­try on the list, min­ing and quar­ry­ing, at $882 million.

9. Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions intensity has fallen by 30% since 2000.

That is, to 0.35 mega­tonnes of CO2 equiv­a­lent per bil­lion dol­lars of GDP, from 0.50 megatonnes.

10. In 2019, Canadians’ average earnings were highest in oil and gas extraction.

Com­pare that to $2,740 week­ly vs $1,534 in aero­space, $1,427 in motor vehi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ing, and $1,029 for the aver­age of all industries.