Alberta Oil Sands
Alberta’s Oil Sands are the third largest proven crude oil reserve in the world. Currently, there are more than 170.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the oil sand deposits and more than 315 billion barrels of potentially recoverable oil in total.
Changes in technology, as well as regulatory and business environments, have positively influenced the oil sands sector, increasing job demand within three facility/operation types: in situ, mining and upgrading. Stable oil prices and strong international investment foreshadow continued expansion of the oil sands industry.
New projects are constantly being added by the Government of Alberta, in conjunction with the oil sands industry, to expand Alberta’s role as a world leading energy supplier. In 2009, the energy sector accounted for 23.4 percent of Alberta’s GDP.
In 2011, the Alberta Oil Sands allowed for the employment of more than 20,000 workers. According to a report released by the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada, the workforce will increase by 73 percent by 2021.
Alberta Oil Sands Quick Facts:
- Alberta’s Oil Sands underlie 140,200 square kilometers (54,132 square miles) of land in the Athabasca, Cold Lake and Peace River areas in northern Alberta.
- In 2010, Alberta’s total proven oil reserves were 170.8 billion barrels, or about 12 percent of total global oil reserves (1,469.6 billion barrels).
- Oil sands within 75 meters of the surface can be mined; whereas, oil sands below this threshold must be extracted using in-situ methods.
- Of the total 169.3 billion barrels of proven reserves, approximately 80 percent is considered recoverable by in-situ methods and 20 percent by surface mining methods.
- On average, it takes approximately two tons of mined oil sands to produce a barrel of synthetic crude oil.
- Alberta Oil Sands production is expected to increase to 3 million barrels per day by 2018.