Oil and Gas

Upstream oil and gas industries are involved in the earlier stages of production: exploration, seismic exploration, surveys, oil and gas drilling, distribution through pipelines and some processing of unrefined oil and gas products at batteries.

Downstream industries process and refine raw products and then distribute them: refineries, petrochemical plants, petroleum products distributors, retail outlets, natural gas distribution utilities and refined product pipeline systems.

Since 1900, oil and gas development in Alberta has disturbed a significant amount of land. More than 300,000 wells have been drilled, more than 350,000 km of pipelines built to distribute petroleum products from source to refineries and markets. Access roads, off-site sumps, pits, and batteries have been constructed as part of wellsite development. The total land area associated with past and present upstream oil and gas development is approximately 10,000 sq km or 1,000,000 ha (2,470,000 acres).

Each year, 10,000 to 15,000 new wells are drilled in Alberta. The current rate of land being developed for oil and gas production in this province is approximately 120 ha (300 acres) a day.


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Updated: Jan 23, 2014