Economic Impact of Oil Sands

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• As of February 2012, the average hourly earning for an Alberta worker in the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction industry earns $42.73 per hour when including overtime—the highest among all industries in Alberta. [1]

• New oil sands investments is expected to grow from 75,000 jobs in 2010 to 905,000 jobs in 2035. 126,000 jobs would be sourced in provinces other than Alberta. [2]

• The United States imported an average of 2.15 million barrels per day of Canadian crude oil in 2011. [3]

• TD Economics calculates increased exports of Canadian oil and investment in machinery, equipment and infrastructure in the oil sands accounted for a third of economic growth experienced in 2010 and 2011. [4]

• The cumulative sum of additional Canadian GDP from existing pipelines operations would come close to $941 billion between 2010-2020. This dollar amount increases to more than $1.1 trillion when considering development of new projects supporting the Keystone XL and Northern Gateway pipelines in addition. [5]

• When factoring in only existing projects, Alberta royalties are expected to grow from more than $3.5 billion in 2010 to $22 billion in 2020. [6]

• Due to rises in urbanization and industrialization in recent decades, Asia is anticipated to be a large part of developing countries that will account for over 93 per cent of the rise in global energy demand. [7] Nations such as Japan and South Korea seem to look to Canada as a potential oil exporter. [8] As well, Chinese oil company Sinopec owns a nine per cent stake of Syncrude. [9] In 2010, China imported 55 per cent of its consumed oil and that number may rise to 66 per cent within the decade. [10] In the past two years, Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) such as PetroChina, Sinopec and China National Petroleum have invested more than $10 billion in Canada’s oil and gas sector. [11]

• The Wood Buffalo region ranked second highest of Canadian metropolitan areas for population growth between 2001 and 2006, as well as between 2006 and 2011 (with a 27.1 per cent increase. [12] Total population in Wood Buffalo was 66,896 in 2011, [13] with 79.3 per cent of that population falling into the working-age category (ages 15 to 64), compared to the national working-age percentage of 68.5 per cent. [14]

• It’s anticipated that Canada’s oil and gas industry will need to fill at least 9,500 jobs by 2015. Certain operations growth and “age-related attrition” are cited as two contributors to the increase of hiring needs. [15]


[1] Statistics Canada – Employment, Earnings and Hours – February 2012 Table 5-10: Estimates of employment, average hourly earnings and average weekly hours for employees paid by the hour, by industry – Alberta

[2] Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers – Upstream Dialogue: The Facts on Oil Sands

[3] U.S. Energy Information Administration – Crude Oil and Petroleum Exports Top 15 Countries

[4] TD Economics – Oil’s Well Below the Threshold

[5] Canadian Energy Research Institute – Study 125, Extension A: A Decade of Staged Sands Growth (2010 – 2020)

[6] Ibid.

[7] Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada – The National Conversation on Asia – Backgrounder: Asian Demand for Energy Security

[8] Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada – The National Conversation on Asia – Should Canada export oil and gas to Asia?

[9] The Syncrude Project: A joint venture undertaking

[10] Cornish, Margaret. Behaviour of Chinese SOEs: Implications for Investment and Cooperation in Canada

[11] Canadian Council of Chief Executives – Chinese state-owned enterprises are motivated by profit, not national interest, study concludes

[12] Statistics Canada – The Canadian Population in 2011: Population Counts and Growth

[13] Statistics Canada – Wood Buffalo Census Profile

[14] Statistics Canada – Focus on Geography Series, 2011 Census (for Wood Buffalo)

[15] Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada – Canada’s Oil and Gas Industry Will Need to Fill At Least 9,500 Jobs by 2015