February 2007

Special Report: Clean Fuels

Canadian oil sands: Opportunities, technologies and challenges

Energy resources found at the Arctic Circle have potential

Patel, S., Petro-Canada

Increasing global oil demand and sustained higher commodity prices have raised questions about the future of energy supplies in North America. Canada is the seventh largest producer of crude oil—enough oil to meet both its domestic demand and supply export markets. Canada's conventional oil production has been declining for over a decade. However, Canada's total oil production will grow significantly in coming years and is estimated to become the world's fifth largest oil producer (Fig. 1). This significant growth will be achieved through oil sands. Canada has substantial reserves of oil sands, which are estimated to produce 175 billion bbl (B bbl) with available technology.

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