Petroleum is a fossil fuel. Fossil fuels are formed when the remains of living organisms gets buried under layers of sand, mud, and rocks. Petroleum consist of hydrocarbons, which is organic compound that is made from hydrogen and carbon. It is found in sedimentary rocks, and is considered to be non-renewable because fossil fuels takes millions of year to form. The fuel can be black, yellow, clear, or green, and can be thin or viscous. It can be made into natural gas, gasoline, paraffin wax, kerosene, naphtha, and more. Which is used to make different products.


The petroleum industry is a huge primary industry and can be found worldwide! Petroleum is a fundamental necessity of life! We need it for energy, to run our cars, and more. Canada had the 3rd largest oil reserves worldwide in 2014. The petroleum industry is in 12 out of 13 provinces and territories of Canada. Below shows where oil can be found in Canada.


Like it was mentioned above, there are 12 out of 13 provinces and territories in Canada, that has oil and/or natural gas industries. Below gives you a bit of information on petroleum industries in each province and territories.

British Columbia: 2nd largest producer of natural gas in Canada. They made 20,900 barrels of crude oil per day in 2015. In BC, they have the Horn River, and Montney natural gas basins. (NE area in BC).

Alberta: Largest producer of natural gas and oil in Canada. Also has lots of oil sands too. They made 530,000 barrels of conventional oil per day in 2015. They made 2.37 million barrels from the oil sands per day in 2015. In Alberta, they have the Athabasca, Peace river, and Cold lake deposit (oil sands).

Saskatchewan: 2nd largest producer of oil in Canada, 13% of Canada’s oil production. They made 486,000 barrels of oil per day in 2015. In Saskatchewan they drill near Regina to get oil.

Manitoba: 4th largest producer of crude oil in Canada. They made 45,500 barrels of oil per day in 2015. In Manitoba, they have the Sinclair Fields, which is where they get oil from.

Ontario: Produce oil and natural gas. They made 392,000 barrels per day <- Ontario’s refining capacity. In Ontario, they aren’t a huge producer of petroleum like Alberta, but they have over 2,400 oil and gas wells.

Quebec: Produce natural gas and crude oil. They made 367,000 barrels per day <- Quebec’s refining capacity. In Quebec, they have the St.Lawrence River and the Anticosti Island.

Nova Scotia: Produce natural gas and oil. They made 350 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2015(Sable Offshore Energy Project, and Deep Panuke). In Nova Scotia, they have Onshore and Offshore areas.

New Brunswick: Produce oil and natural gas. They made 5.5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2015. In New Brunswick they have the Dover natural gas field, Stoney Creek, Frederick Brook Shale.

Newfoundland and Labrador: Produce oil. They make 200,000 barrels of oil per day currently, from offshore projects Hibernia, Terra Nova, and White Rose. In Newfoundland and Labrador, they have the Parsons Pond, Onshore projects, and Offshore projects.

Prince Edward Island: Produce oil and natural gas. P.E.I’s oil and natural gas industry is not as developed as other industry elsewhere. They have the offshore well.

Northern Canada: Produce oil and natural gas. They make 10,000 barrels of conventional oil per day in the NorthWest Territories in 2015. They make 5.6 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2015. They have a lot of crude oil and natural gas that hasn’t been drilled yet.

It is expected that over the next 20 years, $4 trillion will be contributed to the Canadian economy from the oil sands.

Altogether, the petroleum equals to a lot of money to the Canadian economy.


Petroleum is found in between layers of rocks and the sea floor. To get petroleum, first geologists locate where the oil is. Second, scientist determine the boundaries of the area. Third, equipment is set up in the area, for example the oil derrick industrial machine. Fourth, workers drill into the ground/sea floor. Fifth, they extract oil from the ground. Lastly, the oil is then brought to a factory. Watch the videos below for a more detailed explanation and visual.

Sedimentary Rocks
Sea Floor


Canada mainly trade petroleum with the United States Of America and Asia. Approximately 99% of Canadian oil exports go to the US. Below the chart shows some examples of products made with petroleum. These products are also sold at places like Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Fortinos..etc.


There is a lot of jobs in this industry especially in Alberta and Saskatchewan. More than 425,000 people are working in this industry and it’s still growing in number (2014).

British Columbia: 2,200+ people

Alberta: 275,000+ people indirectly and directly

Saskatchewan: 26,000+ people

Manitoba: More careers in the future, there isn't many now

Ontario: 16% of jobs in Ontario is created by oil sands

Quebec: Not a lot because there isn’t much oil and natural gas

New Brunswick: Not a lot because they don’t contribute to oil and gas production as much as other provinces

Nova Scotia: Not a lot, they only have 2 projects and a few offshore projects

Newfoundland and Labrador: 3,000+ people


There are many issues and problems in the petroleum industry. From workers to the environment. Some problems that impact workers greatly are...

  1. Blurred vision/eye problem,
  2. headaches
  3. unusual deaths
  4. asthma
  5. lung cancer/infection
  6. increase risk of tuberculosis
  7. heart attacks
  8. damage liver
  9. skin rashes
  10. digestive problems

Long term effects when workers breathe in the fumes or swallow food/liquids that came in contact with oil and gas daily are

  1. irregular bleed cycle
  2. miscarriages
  3. birth defects
  4. blood cancer
  5. stomach cancer
  6. liver cancer
  7. pancreas cancer
  8. prostate cancer
  9. eye cancer
  10. brain cancer

Living near oil drilling sites is extremely dangerous. Cancer can occur due to contact with oil regularly. Children are also more likely to get leukemia when living close by. People are also more likely to develop stomach, bladder, and lung cancer.

Accidents also has a huge impact on the industry. As accidents happen, workers can decrease due to the following things, which can leads to less people working.

  1. Vehicle accidents
  2. struck by
  3. caught in
  4. caught between
  5. explosion
  6. fire
  7. fall
  8. chemical exposures...etc.

The environment gets impacted as well. As areas get prepped to start drilling oil, wildlife habitats and migration routes gets disturbed and invaded. Oil spills (liquid petroleum hydrocarbon release into marine areas) happen when transporting oil to different places.


Build plants for recycling used oil.

Doing this we can help with not over drilling oil. For example, we can use recycled oil instead of having to drill up more oil to use.

Be more Eco-friendly.

Doing this we can help protect our environment. For example, using eco-friendly products instead of environmental harming ones.

Use less oil.

Doing this we can pollute less. For example, walk more. Doing so you won't have to use oil to power your car, which creates pollution.

By: Samantha D

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