Canada could be part of the solution to the question of high oil prices in the United States.
Canadian Oil Sands
In December 2007, Canada reported 372 total rotary rigs, comprised of 369 onshore rigs and 3 offshore rigs. Canada's total petroleum reserves of 178.8 billion barrels is the second most in the world behind Saudi Arabia. One of the promising petroleum reserves in Canada is located underneath a 140,000 square kilometer area of northeastern Alberta. Described by Time Magazine as "Canada's greatest buried energy treasure" and that it "could satisfy the world's demand for petroleum for the next century," Alberta's Oil Sands is promising to boost Canada's energy economy. To date, only a small 2 percent of the Oil Sands has been explored, but as technology and knowledge increase, the yield in the Oil Sands could, and is already beginning to, increase. The output of marketable oil sands increased to 1.126 million barrels per day in 2006. The Oil Sands yield could be even more as some estimates anticipate that the level of production could reach 3 million barrels per day by 2020 and some more optimistic estimates say the oil sands production could be at 5 million barrels per day by 2030, which would be more than two times the total amount of oil Canada exported in 2006. The crude oil from Alberta's Oil Sands could bolster the Canadian petroleum industry into a world leader in petroleum production.
Global Petroleum Relationships
Not that Canada's petroleum industry today is small. According to recent figures, Canada is the third largest producer of natural gas in the world and the ninth largest producer of crude oil in the world. In 2004 alone, Canada's energy resources produced 18.6 quadrillion British Thermal Units (Btu) of total energy: the world's fifth highest total production. Even with production as high as it is, Canada is still expanding its industry to meet the rise in global energy demand. Since 1980, the world's total energy production has increased by 54 percent, while Canada has seen total energy production increase by 81 percent over the same period of time, while the total energy consumption for its 33 million residents has increased by only 40 percent. This growth means that exporting petroleum could be a great boost to the Canadian economy. Indeed, this marginal growth has attributed to Canada supplying the United States with 3.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which made up 16 percent of the total supply of the United States.