Petroleum resources of Canada: An emerging resources giant

Category Paleontology and Stratigraphy
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Osadetz, Kirk۱; Elliott, David۲
Holding Date 08 September 2008

Canada is the second largest nation areally, and is endowed with great conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources. It is a stable democracy, with federal and provincial agencies providing support to a long established, highly efficient, and innovative, petroleum industry. Canada is the largest supplier of oil and gas to the USA, and Canadian oil and gas firms operate in many different countries.
Petroleum resources are widely distributed throughout Canada’s sedimentary basins but most of these occur within the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) between 49 and 60 degrees North latitude.
During the last 25 years, Canadian crude oil production has almost doubled, mainly due to increased unconventional crude oil and bitumen production from mined and in-situ oil sands projects, while conventional crude oil production has declined moderately. At the present time, there is an unprecedented high level of activity in the oil sands, including major mining and in-situ bitumen recovery projects and the construction of upgraders to produce synthetic crude oil from bitumen, and bitumen production could double within the next 25-30 years. A number of technology demonstration tertiary recovery projects for enhanced crude oil recovery have suggested a great potential for improved conventional crude oil recovery. Aggressive tertiary recovery programs could result in a growth of the conventional crude oil supply that would effectively double the current conventional crude oil reserves in the WCSB. There are also significant oil shale resources in the WCSB, the commercial assessment of which has just started.
WCSB natural gas production and reserves have begun to decline significantly but there are abundant non-conventional resources. Tight gas and coal bed methane are already contributing to production, and investigation into commercial shale gas potential has recently started.
Canada has significant conventional and non-conventional resources, the latter including methane hydrates, in its frontier basins, most noticeably the Mackenzie Corridor (an extension of the WCSB north of 60 degrees), the Beaufort Sea basin, the sedimentary basins of the Atlantic Margin and the Sverdrup Basin in the Arctic Archipelago. The development of these areas is likely to grow as infrastructure, such as a pipeline from the Mackenzie delta to the southern distribution network, is installed.
Capital markets are highly developed, and there are more oil and gas companies on the Canadian securities exchanges than in any other country. The Canadian securities regulatory regime is comprehensive and allows the disclosure, not only of reserves but also of the full range of resources. Both the securities regulatory bodies and the securities exchange have experienced technical staff to advise on and govern disclosure to ensure the integrity of the securities market in oil and gas matters.