Petroleum Production in Canada
Petroleum production in Canada is a major industry which is important to the economy of North America. Canada is the seventh largest oil producing country in the world. In 2008 it produced an average of 438,000 cubic metres per day (2,750,000 bbl/d) of crude oil, crude bitumen and natural gas condensate. Of that amount, 48% was conventional crude oil, 46% was bitumen from oil sands, and 6% was condensate from natural gas wells. Most of Canadian petroleum production, approximately 283,000 cubic metres per day (1,780,000 bbl/d), was exported, almost all of it to the United States. Canada is the largest single source of oil imports into the United States.
The petroleum industry in Canada is also referred to as the Canadian "Oil Patch"; the term refers especially to upstream operations (exploration and production of oil and gas), and to a lesser degree to downstream operations (refining, distribution, and selling of oil and gas products). In 2005, almost 25,000 new oil wells were spud (drilled) in Canada. Daily, over 100 new wells are spud in the province of Alberta alone.
Most exploration and production occurs in Alberta, with a significant number of operations in British Columbia—particularly in winter—and consistent activity in Saskatchewan. Drilling from large offshore platforms occurs on the Newfoundland continental shelf.
The country's four largest integrated refiners are Imperial Oil, Husky Energy, Petro-Canada, and Suncor Energy. In 2007 Canada's four biggest oil companies brought in record profits of $11.75 billion, up 10 percent from $10.72 billion in 2006. Revenues for the Big Four climbed to $80 bilion from about $72 billion in 2006. The numbers exclude Shell Canada and ConocoPhillips Canada, two private subsidiaries that produced almost 500,000 barrels per day in 2006.
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