Canadian Energy Sources and Global Demand


Canadian Energy Sources and Global Demand
Energy fuels our lives, and Canada's oil and natural gas industry is continuously striving to meet that need in an environmental and socially responsible way through supporting new innovation and technology.

Energy Security
The world’s need for energy – from all sources – is expanding. As more people in developing and emerging economies rise out of poverty and improve their standards of living, global demand grows for energy and everyday products made from oil and natural gas. The world will need more energy in all forms, including oil and natural gas.

Energy security is the foundational pillar of all the things that are essential to humans across the globe; national or continental security, economic security and even food security.

A vast supply of oil and gas has been made unavailable to much of the western world through constraints as well as global sanctions against Russian energy. If Canada can get more energy resources to market, displacing sources from oppressive regimes this next era could position Canada as a global energy leader providing lower-emission energy around the world for decades. 

World Energy Needs
World demand for crude oil in 2021 was 94.5 million b/d and demand for natural gas was 149 Tcf. While the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects increasing use of renewables, improved energy efficiency and a shift toward electric vehicles, oil and natural gas will continue to meet rising demand for petrochemicals (used to make everyday products ranging from smartphones to running shoes) and to fuel transportation by land, sea and air.

Natural gas demand in particular is expected to grow as countries seek to lower greenhouse gas emissions by displacing coal for heating and power generation. Natural gas is cost-effective, abundant and reliable and produces half the emissions of coal. (Source: America Geosciences, 2022)


Canada’s Energy Mix
Canada is rich in natural resources. Our country has many different energy sources: oil, natural gas, coal, hydroelectricity, nuclear and more. This energy is used for various purposes, such as heating homes, fueling vehicles, generating electricity and more.

Some parts of Canada have the resources to produce electricity from large rivers, waterfalls or tides, while other areas are rich in oil and natural gas. Similarly, consistent wind in some regions makes large-scale electricity generation possible, while other regions can tap geothermal energy. Reliable and affordable energy for Canadians depends on a diverse mix of energy sources.

Canada has the fourth-largest oil reserves in the world. Of the 167 billion barrels of Canadian oil that can be recovered economically with today’s technology, 161 billion barrels are located in the oil sands. (Source: AER)

In 2021, Canada produced 4.7 million barrels of oil per day (b/d), of which 95% came from producing areas in Western Canada. In 2019, Canada exported more than 3.7 million b/d to the U.S. – 99% of Canada’s oil exports go to the U.S. but with improved market access and infrastructure (pipelines) Canada could gain global market share, replacing less sustainably produced oil sources.

Oil is used to create transportation fuels such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. It’s also used for heating, and as a feedstock for petrochemicals which are used to create many products we use every day.


Natural Gas
Canada has vast reserves of natural gas, particularly in British Columbia and Alberta. At current rates of consumption, Canada has enough natural gas to meet the country’s needs for 300 years, meaning we have ample supplies for export. The export of natural gas using proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities on Canada’s West Coast would enable Canada to ship its abundant energy resources to markets in Asia. This would meet growing energy needs there and could reduce global greenhouse emissions by displacing coal.

In addition to heating and cooking, natural gas has a variety of uses including transportation, as a feedstock for petrochemical industries, and electricity generation.

Coal is used mainly for two purposes, steel-making and power generation. Coal is by far Canada’s most abundant fossil fuel, with 6.6 billion tonnes of recoverable reserves. More than 90% of Canada’s coal deposits are located in the western provinces, with some deposits in Nova Scotia. Canada currently has 24 operating coal mines. (More information: Coal Association of Canada)

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