Canada Oil & Gas Industry: Comparison with US (Useful for MBA Aspirants specializing in Energy Sector)

Canada - Oil & Gas IndustryCanada is the world’s 3rd largest natural gas producer, 5th largest crude oil producer and accounts for 13% of the world’s total oil reserves second to only Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. The Industry is the single largest private investor in Canada.

Oil and gas companies constitute about 20% of the value at the Toronto Stock Exchange and the industry contributes 5% of the total GDP for Canada, a big number considering that Canada is mostly a service driven country.

Canadian Oil & Gas Industry – Supply & Demand

Though the Oil & Gas industry as a whole is quite developed in Canada, there continue to be parts of the country which are under exploration for its petroleum reserves – namely the Arctic and offshore regions. Natural gas production in Canada was at 13.7 billion cubic feet per day – one of the highest volumes. Canada exported about 8.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in the year 2012 with a reported $62 billion spent in the year 2012 alone of which $18 billion were paid in taxes and royalties to the Government in 2012.

History of Canadian Oil Industry

To trace back the history of the Canadian oil industry, it was a gentleman by the name of Charles Nelson Tripp who used the product for commercial use resulting in the establishment of the first oil company in Canada. The gas movement took place in the eastern region of Canada with stories that children in Nova Scotia’s Lake Ainslie would ram sticks into the ground and light the natural gas emerging from it. Eugene Coste brought the first gas producing well in Ontario and is widely considered to be the father of the Canadian natural gas industry


Most of the exploration and drilling takes place in Alberta with a few projects run in the state of British Columbia and Saskatchewan. There are a few offshore drilling projects near the region of Newfoundland. Alberta is the largest producer of natural oil, natural gas, synthetic crude and gas products in Canada. Edmonton, the capital of Alberta leads in manufacturing, processing and research centers while Calgary, another city in Alberta, hosts the head offices for leading oil companies, thus creating the Edmonton-Calgary corridor.

Career Prospects – MBA

According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), the Canadian Oil and Gas Industry supported 550,000 jobs across Canada in 2012. Canadian Energy Research Institute has forecasted another 905,000 new jobs from oil sands over the next 35 years.

Suncor Energy Incorporation, Imperial Oil Limited, Canadian Natural Resources Incorporation, Husky Energy Incorporation and Cenovus Energy Incorporation are top players in Canada in terms of oil and gas production, revenue and net income.

A specialization in oil, gas and energy management will expose MBAs to contemporary issues in oil, gas and energy, carbon management strategies, and foster skills for strategic management and marketing.

US vs Canada: Oil & Gas Sector

With the deployment of existing and more advanced technologies, US could create 1.9 million jobs in the energy sector by 2050. Job opportunities in the American clean energy market via solar, wind, hydro and geothermal energy is also set to increase. The rise in US gas production has resulted in the reduction of oil and gas imports from Canada. In 2011, Canada exported about 2.23 million barrels of crude oil to US per day that accounted for 25% of US total crude oil imports. However, the oil & gas job market in Canada is growing at a sustainable pace, increasingly serving the Asian markets. Another major trend in the Canadian Energy market is the shift in focus towards oil sands. This has led to increased investment and demand for energy management.

There are many unfilled jobs in the United States and the Canadian markets for Oil & Gas specialists and Managers. The lure of working for a more glamorous industry or organization is high in the minds of graduates. That explains the unfilled jobs.

Canada had 314,600 jobs directly related to the Oil & Gas industry in 2013, the US had 286,000 directly employed in this industry. Between 2007 & 2012, this sector in US grew by 40% while job growth in most other industries was just at 1%. With a large workforce entering retirement, and the demand for energy growing at steady pace, Canada is estimated to add 150,000 jobs in the next decade of which 45,000 jobs are the result of retirements.

Despite leading the global MBA destination list, Canada still lacks skilled Managers and specialists. MBAs specializing in energy management from Canada are recognized in the US. Energy management certifications such as AEE, CEM, CEA, BEP, and BEST can supplement MBAs with new skills, mostly in energy management, after which majority of them goes on to become consultants or project managers.


CIA Fact Sheet
CBS News
Institute For Energy Research
The Globe & Mail
Alberta Oil Magazine
Alberta Oil Sands
Alberta Oil & Gas Quarterly Update
AEE Center Report

Why Canada: A Complete Career Guide for MBA Applicants

Why Canada

1. To make it easier for you to choose the top Business Schools in Canada, we have ranked 8 schools based on post-MBA Salary.
2. The Book Analyzes all the ten provinces:
Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan on Post-MBA Job Opportunities in Oil & Gas, Media, Technology, Finance, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Aerospace, Life Science, Energy, Agriculture, Mining, Forestry, Construction, and Healthcare.

3. We have covered all the funding details (scholarships, loans, and other financial assistance) for the top 8 Business Schools in Canada

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Name, Amount, Number of Awards and most importantly the criteria for selection.

Our analysis summarizes the curriculum for the Full-time MBA program, dives into the class composition, and evaluates the post-MBA opportunities available at each school including the list of top Employers. 

Download Why Canada: A Complete Career Guide for MBA Applicants

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