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25 facts about the Canadian oil and gas industry in 2023: Facts 16 to 20


7 minute read

From the Canadian Energy Centre

One of the things that really makes us Albertans, and Canadians is what we do and how we do it.  It’s taking humanity a while to figure it out, but we seem to be grasping just how important access to energy is to our success.  This makes it important that we all know at least a little about the industry that drives Canadians and especially Albertans as we make our way in the world.

The Canadian Energy Centre has compiled a list of 25 (very, extremely) interesting facts about the oil and gas industry in Canada. Over the next 5 days we will post all 25 amazing facts, 5 at a time. Here are facts 16 to 20. 

The Canadian Energy Centre’s 2023 reference guide to the latest research on Canada’s oil and gas industry

The following summary facts and data were drawn from 30 Fact Sheets and Research Briefs and various Research Snapshots that the Canadian Energy Centre released in 2023. For sources and methodology and for additional data and information, the original reports are available at the research portal on the Canadian Energy Centre website:


16. Employment and wages in the oil and gas sector remain high

In 2021, the oil and gas sector directly employed 147,371 Canadians. The number of direct jobs in the sector rose from 158,483 in 2009 to 185,393 in 2014, then fell to 134,939 in 2016, the result of the sharp decline in energy prices, before rising to 160,379 in 2019 as energy prices gradually recovered. The onslaught of COVID-19 in 2020 saw oil and gas sector jobs fall back to 135,475, before recovering to 147,371 in 2021. The average salary of a worker in the Canadian oil and gas sector in 2021 was $133,293. The average salary for a worker in the sector had risen from $103,448 in 2009 to $133,776 in 2015, before leveling off to $129,716 in 2019 due to the energy price slump. However, between 2009 and 2021, the average annual wage of a worker in the Canadian oil and gas sector increased by nearly 29 per cent.

Source: Statistics Canada

Social and Governance

17. Women’s employment in Canada’s oil and gas sector is recovering

The number of females employed in the oil and gas sector reached a high of 42,440 in 2013, dipping to 30,285 in 2020 due to COVID-19, and then recovering somewhat to 33,068 in 2021. Between 2009 and 2021, the average wage for a female worker in the Canadian oil and gas industry increased by over 53 per cent.

Source: Statistics Canada

18. Diversity increasing in the oil and gas sector

Between 2009 and 2021, workers in the Canada’s oil and gas sector who identified as Indigenous increased by nearly 17 per cent. Between 2009 and 2021, the average salary of an Indigenous person employed in Canada’s oil and gas sector increased by over 39 per cent.

Source: Statistics Canada

19. More new Canadians working in the oil and gas sector over the long term

In 2021, 24,931 immigrants were directly employed in the Canadian oil and gas sector. The number of immigrants employed in the oil and gas industry reached 28,469 by 2014, declining to 21,622 in 2016 before recovering to 26,569 in 2019. Between 2009 and 2021, immigrant employment in the Canadian oil and gas sector increased by over 9 per cent. Between 2009 and 2021, the average wage and salary of an immigrant employed in the Canadian oil and gas sector increased by nearly 25 per cent.

Source: Statistics Canada

Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS)

20. Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) growing across the world

At the end of 2022, there were 65 commercial carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) projects in operation globally capable of capturing nearly 41 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of CO2 across various industries, including the oil and gas sector. There are another 478 projects in various stages of development around the world that will be capable of capturing roughly another 559 mtpa of CO2. These projects are in various stages of development: some are at the feasibility stage while others are in the concept and construction phases. If all projects move ahead as scheduled, by 2030 it is estimated that nearly 500 CCUS projects could be operating worldwide, having the ability to capture 623.0 mtpa of CO2. In fact,  between 2023 and 2030, global carbon capture capacity could grow from 43.5 mtpa to 623.0 mtpa, an increase of over 1,332 per cent.

Source: Derived from Rystad Energy

CEC Research Briefs

Canadian Energy Centre (CEC) Research Briefs are contextual explanations of data as they relate to Canadian energy. They are statistical analyses released periodically to provide context on energy issues for investors, policymakers, and the public. The source of profiled data depends on the specific issue. This research brief is a compilation of previous Fact Sheets and Research Briefs released by the centre in 2023. Sources can be accessed in the previously released reports. All percentages in this report are calculated from the original data, which can run to multiple decimal points. They are not calculated using the rounded figures that may appear in charts and in the text, which are more reader friendly. Thus, calculations made from the rounded figures (and not the more precise source data) will differ from the more statistically precise percentages we arrive at using the original data sources.

About the author

This CEC Research Brief was compiled by Ven Venkatachalam, Director of Research at the Canadian Energy Centre.


The author and the Canadian Energy Centre would like to thank and acknowledge the assistance of an anonymous reviewer for the review of this paper.

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Provinces should be cautious about cost-sharing agreements with Ottawa

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From the Fraser Institute

By Tegan Hill and Jake Fuss

According to Premier Danielle Smith, Alberta will withdraw from the federal government’s dental care plan by 2026 mainly because the plan would duplicate coverage already provided to many Albertans (although she plans to negotiate unconditional funding in lieu of being in the program). Indeed, all provinces should be wary of entering into such agreements as history has shown that Ottawa can reduce or eliminate funding at any time, leaving the provinces holding the bag.

In the 1990s, for instance, the federal government reduced health and social transfers to the provinces amid a fiscal crisis fuelled by decades of unrestrained spending and persistent deficits (and worsened by high interest rates). Gross federal debt increased from $38.9 billion in 1970/71 to $615.9 billion in 1993/94, at which point debt interest costs consumed roughly $1 in every $3 of federal government revenue.

In response to this debt crisis, the Chrétien Liberal government reduced spending across nearly all federal departments and programs. Over a three-year period to 1996/97, health and social transfers to the provinces were 51 per cent ($41.0 billion) less than what the provinces expected based on previous transfers. In other words, the provinces suddenly got a lot less money from Ottawa than they anticipated.

This should serve as a warning for the provinces who may find themselves on the hook for Ottawa’s big spending today. In the case of dental care, an area of provincial jurisdiction, the Trudeau government has earmarked $4.4 billion  annually for the provinces on an ongoing basis. However, any change in federal priorities or federal finances could swing the financial burden from Ottawa to the provinces to maintain the program.

The current state of federal finances only heightens this risk to the provinces. The federal government has run uninterrupted budget deficits since 2007/08, with total federal debt climbing from $707.3 billion in 2007/08 to a projected $2.1 trillion in 2024/25. The current government—or perhaps a future reform-minded government focused on balancing the budget—could reduce transfers to the provinces.

The Trudeau government has committed to significant new funding in areas of provincial jurisdiction, but provincial policymakers would do well to understand the risks of entering into such agreements. Ottawa can unilaterally reduce or eliminate funding at any point, leaving provinces to either assume the unexpected financial burden through higher taxes or additional borrowing, or curtail the programs.

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Just in time for Canada Day weekend! Crescent Falls ready to be enjoyed again

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The new staircase structure and viewing platform are among many upgrades that visitors can look forward to at the reopening Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area. (Credit: Alberta Parks).

The popular Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area reopens following a significant capital investment to improve visitor safety and experiences.

Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area is ready to welcome visitors back to enjoy one of the most remarkable, accessible waterfall viewing opportunities in Alberta. The upgrades at Crescent Falls will help improve the park’s visitor experience. Guests can expect expanded parking, improved access roads, trails and day use areas, new and improved viewing areas to take in the falls and upgraded safety measures, including signage and wayfinding.

The Provincial Recreation Area (PRA) is reopening over the July long weekend after being closed since 2023. Visitors will notice increased public safety upgrades through additions such as new parking lots, a new stair structure to access the lower falls, new pedestrian trails, a new vehicle bridge to access the camping area and a viewing platform to enjoy the Crescent Falls.

“We are thrilled to welcome visitors back to Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area in time for the Canada Day long weekend. These additions will help visitors to safely access and enjoy the area’s natural beauty. Parks are for people and Alberta’s government will continue to invest in high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities.”

Todd Loewen, Minister of Forestry and Parks

“Today marks a significant milestone for our community as we reopen the Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area following extensive upgrades. Our province is well known for its incredible natural beauty, and these improvements will make our backcountry more accessible and ensure that Albertans and those visiting our great province can continue to explore our stunning landscapes for years to come.”

Jason Nixon, MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre
This project is part of an investment of more than $12 million to upgrade 13 sites along the David Thompson Corridor. The improvements at Crescent Falls will provide improved safety measures and better visitor access to and from popular tourist destinations in the area. Partners from Clearwater County, Rocky Mountain House and other organizations were critical in helping to move the upgrades forward. Clearwater County and its officials worked with Alberta Parks staff to advise on the upgrades needed around the area.

Alberta’s government is committed to reconciliation and acknowledges the significance of the land around Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area to the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. The completed upgrades reflect an ongoing commitment to creating more outdoor recreation opportunities while protecting the land’s natural and cultural values so it can be enjoyed by current and future generations.

“The Alberta Government’s reopening of Crescent Falls is a remarkable achievement for our region. This project not only enhances recreational opportunities, natural beauty and accessibility in our area but also means safer, more enjoyable visits for our citizens and visitors alike.”

Michelle Swanson, councillor, Clearwater County

“The Town of Rocky Mountain House is where adventure begins, and we are thrilled that Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area has reopened to the public in time for the summer adventure season. This is a wonderful day trip destination for visitors and residents alike setting out from Rocky Mountain House. The provincial investment has only improved its accessibility and safety, making it a must-see destination if you are in the area.”

Dale Shippelt, incoming deputy mayor, Rocky Mountain House

“Westward Bound Campgrounds is the proud facility operator of the Crescent Falls Provincial Recreation Area and we are very excited to see our campers and visitors return to its beauty. These upgrades will have a significant impact on enhancing guest satisfaction levels, providing unique and memorable camper and visitor experiences while providing a safe environment to enjoy spectacular scenery.”

Lonnie and Edena Earl, Westward Bound Campgrounds

This work is part of an ongoing commitment to creating more outdoor recreation and camping opportunities, building trails and facilities and ensuring Alberta’s provincial parks can be enjoyed by all Albertans.

Quick facts

  • The upgrades at Crescent Falls PRA include the following improvements:
    • Enlarging the existing parking area
    • Developing a new parking area for large RV vehicles
    • Upgrading the access roads down to the lower area
    • Installing a new pedestrian trail to the lower day use area
    • Installing a new vehicle crossing from the day use to the camping site
    • Upgrading and expanding the day use areas
    • Increasing signage
    • Installing additional toilets and bear-proof garbage bins
    • Developing a new stair structure to access the lower falls areas with a viewing platform
  • Enhancing safety features throughout the PRA. The upgrades were part of a significant capital investment of $12.3 million by Alberta’s government to address safety and experience opportunities in 13 key provincial recreation sites along the David Thompson Corridor. Along with Crescent Falls PRA, other sites that were upgraded include:
    • Bighorn Dam Recreation Area
    • The following 11 Public lands and parks sites:
    • Coliseum
    • Allstone
    • Abraham Slabs
    • Hoo Doo Creek
    • Coral Creek
    • Pinto Creek
    • Preachers Point
    • Cavalcade
    • Kinglet/Tuff Puff
    • Wildhorse
    • Owen Creek
  • Crescent Falls PRA is located 22 km west of Nordegg on Highway 11 and 6 km north on a gravel access road. Crescent Falls PRA has a first-come, first-served campground with 12 tent-only sites and 22 RV sites. The day use area includes multiple viewing platforms of the upper and lower falls and picnic tables with views of the river. Access to the lower day use area is available on a 0.8 km trail from the main parking area or, alternatively, from the Bighorn Canyon lookout via a 3 km trail. The lower day use area also has accessible-only parking stalls adjacent to the viewing platforms with an accessible vault toilet and picnic areas.

Related information

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