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Oil Resources

Canada has the third-largest proven oil reserve in the world, most of which is in the oil sands

Proven oil reserves are reserves that are known to exist and that are recoverable under current technological and economic conditions.

Total Canadian proven oil reserves are estimated at 171.0 billion barrels, of which 166.3 billion barrels are found in Alberta's oil sands and an additional 4.7 billion barrels in conventional, offshore, and tight oil formations.  Canada accounts for 10% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

Learn more about offshore oil and gas resources and shale and tight resources in Canada.


World Proved Reserves
(At the end of 2014)
Rank Country Percentage Share of Total
1 Venezuela 18.0%
2 Saudi Arabia 16.1%
3 Canada* 10.3%
4 Iran 9.5%
5 Iraq 8.7%
6 Kuwait 6.1%
7 U.A.E 5.9%
8 Russia 4.8%
9 Libya 2.9%
10 United States 2.3%

Source: Oil and Gas Journal; *Alberta Energy Regulator and Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (2015)


Canada’s proven reserves could increase considerably, should technology improve  

As technology evolves, Canada’s proven oil reserves could grow even larger.  In the oil sands, ultimate potential reserves, or the oil estimated to be recoverable as technology improves, are estimated at more than 300 billion barrels. Learn more about the oil sands.

Canada also has significant potential tight oil resources.  Find out more about tight and shale resources across Canada.


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