Publications /

Economic Impact Study of Canada’s Conventional Oil and Natural Gas Sector

Economic Impact Study of Canada’s Conventional Oil and Natural Gas Sector

Understanding Canada’s economic strengths and assets is crucial for helping fuel our country’s growth and prosperity.

Author's image
Business Data Lab

Executive Summary

The Business Data Lab was pleased to help measure the immense economic contribution of Canada’s conventional oil and natural gas sector, in a new Economic Impact Study. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the sector’s impact on Canada’s economic landscape, showcasing its resilience and pivotal role in bolstering GDP, employment and government revenues.

Key Findings:

  • GDP Contribution: The sector directly injects $52 billion into Canada’s GDP, representing a 2.5% share of the nation’s economic output.
  • Employment and Compensation: For every million dollars spent, the sector creates nearly 5 jobs, offering an impressive average compensation of $90 per hour – $47 higher than the national average.
  • Exports and Revenues: With exports totaling $178 billion, predominantly to the U.S., and an expanding footprint in global markets, the sector is a vital revenue stream, contributing $45 billion to governments revenues in 2022.
  • R&D and Environmental Protection: Leading in research and development, with 90% of funding coming from industry sources, the sector also leads in environmental protection funding, accounting for a third of all business contributions in this realm.

Industry Context:

  • Production Growth: Witnessing a growth of 125% in crude oil production since 2000, the sector has experienced a significant shift towards bitumen sources.
  • Regional Concentration: Western Canada, particularly Alberta, serves as the nucleus of production, accounting for a substantial 70% of the total GDP impact.

Economic Impact:

  • GDP Contribution: In 2022 alone, the sector injected a staggering $97 billion into Canada’s GDP, representing a formidable 5% of the national GDP.
  • Employment Impact: Supporting 493,000 jobs, the sector accounts for 3% of total employment in Canada.
  • Regional Distribution: Alberta leads the charge as the largest economic contributor, followed by Saskatchewan, Newfoundland & Labrador, and British Columbia.

The conventional oil and natural gas sector is a vital pillar of Canada’s economic foundation, providing substantial economic benefits. However, as this critical sector continues to evolve, it must embrace a balanced approach that places equal weight on economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility. This holistic approach is essential for fostering sustainable growth and ensuring the sector’s enduring contribution to Canada’s prosperity for generations to come.

For a comprehensive analysis and detailed insights:

Would you like the Business Data Lab to measure and study the economic impact of your sector? Reach out to Patrick Gill, Senior Director, Operations & Partnerships, Business Data Lab at

Let us help you unlock your full potential.

Sign up for new insights and updates.