GlobalData’s latest thematic report, Oil Sands suggests that surging production from oil sands has enabled Canada to emerge as the fourth largest crude producer in 2018.

Backed by favourable government policy initiatives, oil sands production contributed to around 67% of total crude oil production of Canada in 2018. However, pipeline capacity constraints and setbacks in construction of new pipelines could impact further progress of the oil and gas industry in Canada.

Oil sands are rich sources of bitumen, an extra-heavy hydrocarbon, that can be extracted using unconventional techniques. Bitumen is extracted from oil sands using two approaches: surface mining and in-situ extraction. As these processes are energy intensive and also consume large volumes of water, efforts are being made to reduce these consumption levels by deploying new technologies and processes. Oil sands extraction processes are also major greenhouse gas emitters, thereby attracting severe criticism from environmentalists around the world. The issue surrounding high emissions has prompted organisations from the oil and gas and financial services industries, such as, Equinor, Marathon Oil, Axa, and HSBC to withdraw or curtail their involvement in projects associated with oil sands.

As the demand for crude oil is expected to grow, particularly in Asia, the Canadian Oil Sands industry will continue to attract investments from all over the world. Nevertheless, considering the overall complexity of the oil sands extraction process, global prices for crude oil will have to remain at comparatively higher levels to ensure profitability from these projects.

GlobalData’s thematic research identifies companies, such as, Suncor Energy Canadian Natural Resources (CNRL), Cenovus Energy, Imperial Oil (ExxonMobil), and Enbridge as the leading players in the oil sands industry in Canada.

Major players in the Canadian oil sands industry

Source: GlobalData Thematic Research                                                                                                                               ©GlobalData