The Calgary energy industry
One out of every 13 jobs in Alberta is directly related to energy.
Alberta’s energy sector is a key economic driver and has been for decades. The rich resources available in the province account for the third largest reserves of crude in the world and the largest deposits of oil sands in the world. International companies are investing billions of dollars into this industry (forecasted $20 billion of capital investment in 2012 alone), and Calgary houses the headquarters of major Canadian and global energy companies. British Petroleum’s statistical review of world energy in 2011 highlights Canada as the world’s sixth largest oil producer and the world’s third largest natural gas producer.
But it is not just production that drives Alberta’s energy sector. Innovations in technology, such as the Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) system, have enabled development of the 80 per cent of oil sands reserves that are too deep to be mined.
Local innovations and research are increasingly found within Calgary and Alberta’s Sustainable and Renewable Energy (SURE) sector. Calgary has been successful in attracting national research initiatives focused on research and innovation in greenhouse gas emission reductions, renewable energy and energy systems and technologies. Collective energy knowledge and advancements in technology are fundamental to expanding the SURE sector, and Calgary’s advancements are supported by a network of research and post-secondary institutions, think tanks and innovators within business and government. Additionally, Calgary companies are world leaders in innovations around carbon capture and storage, including air capture technology.
Collaboration and research between conventional, unconventional and SURE organizations will allow Alberta’s energy industry to remain competitive, drive economic growth and sustain production volumes.