• Jordan Hebert

Keeping Alberta Economy’s Moving Forward

I read an interesting article the other day on the economic impact that the oil and gas industry has on the Alberta economy. Our industry’s reach to the community is extensive and is a vital part of Alberta’s growth and stability for the future. It is important that we are all advocates for the promotion and growth of our industry, I highlighted the most relevant facts from the article – so the next time you run into someone who is anti-oil and gas, here is some topics to add to the other side of the conversation that are hard to refute.


The oilsands sector has been under siege from environmentalists, some liberal-leaning politicians, aboriginals and others, but there are few who debate the economic benefits flowing to Alberta and Canada from the industry.

For example, there’s a recent study by IHS CERA that concludes that the industry has created 478,000 total jobs in Canada.

In addition, the study points out that the Alberta government’s coffers have swelled since 2012, thanks to the oilsands sector, to the tune of more than $7.7 billion in taxes and $4 billion in royalties. The federal government, meanwhile, has received more than $15 billion in tax revenue since 2012, according to the study.

And IHS CERA predicts economic benefits contributed by the industry could double by 2025.

A study released in 2011 by the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) forecast oilsands activity would lead to total direct investment of more than $2 trillion in new projects in the ensuing 25 years.

The Alberta government, in a series of three reports looking at the future of the three main oilsands producing regions—Athabasca, Cold Lake and Peace River—tried to provide a picture of how the areas will grow in the future.

That exercise, called Comprehensive Regional Infrastructure Sustainability Plan (CRISP) was launched five years ago with a forecast of how development in the Athabasca region would unfold. Here are the results.

Based on an estimate that total oilsands production would almost triple to six million barrels per day by 2045, the planning team projected the population of the Athabasca region (the centre of which is Fort McMurray) would more than double to 240,500 by then.

The CRISP study predicts the number of oilsands related jobs in the area will triple to more than 3,800 by 2045.

Imperial Oil Limited paid $422 million in federal and provincial taxes in 2012 (the most recent year for which statistics are available) and $681 million in royalties to the Alberta government. It also paid $21 million in local property taxes to the Municipal District of Bonnyville.

Actual payroll statistics aren’t available (for competitive reasons), Imperial Oil employs 425 directly at Cold Lake, while its various contractors provide work for another 1,200 or so, suggesting the total jobs impact from Imperial Oil’s Cold Lake project—which has been ongoing for more than 25 years—is more than 1,600. Assuming each of those workers earns $100,000 per year, on average (and it is probably higher than that), that means the annual payroll for the Cold Lake project alone is $160 million.

Aboriginal businesses were awarded more than $233 million in contracts in 2013.” And “Of that investment, over $95 million in business development opportunities were created with aboriginal communities in the Cold Lake region.”

Highlights of Canadian Natural’s community investments include donations totalling $500,000 since 2006 to support the community event arena in the Cold Lake Energy Centre (the money was spent to improve the arena’s ice surface and the running track), a donation of $100,600 in 2012 for upgrades to the Bonnyville Regional Airport, and another $1 million in 2004 to help build Bonnyville’s multi-purpose sports, recreation and entertainment complex.

Full article can be found here

© 2019 by BRITT Land & Engagement

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