The Real Story of Canada's Oil Sands Boom

  • 28 Nov 2012
  • By The Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Topics: Energy

Lack of Labor, Equipment Impedes Full Potential

Portrayed by some journalists as a "hellhole of testosterone and tattoos," Fort McMurray, Alberta, home base for Canada's booming oil sands industry, gets its share of bad press.

While there is "a grimy grain of truth" in such stories, and oil sands extraction does cause environmental problems, there is another story about Fort McMurray, according to The Economist. It's a tale of innovation and energy reserves "so vast that they could have geopolitical consequences," the publication said in a November 17 article.

Canada's oil sands are estimated to hold some 170 billion barrels of crude that can be recovered economically with today's technology, giving the country the world's third-largest proven oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nationwide, Canada's natural-gas reserves are estimated at greater than 3 quadrillion cubic feet.

However, Canada's oil output, at 3.5 million barrels a day, is less than half that of the U.S. Canada faces several obstacles to reaching its full energy potential, which can be summed up in the areas of geology, capital, people and pipes.

Read Full Report

Futures & Options Trading

As the world's leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, CME Group is where the world comes to manage risk. CME Group exchanges offer the widest range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes, including futures and options based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural commodities, metals, weather and real estate. CME Group brings buyers and sellers together through the CME Globex electronic trading platform and trading facilities in New York and Chicago. CME Group also operates CME Clearing, one of the largest central counterparty clearing services in the world, which provides clearing and settlement services for exchange-traded contracts, as well as for over-the-counter derivatives transactions through CME ClearPort.

Idea Exchange

Idea Exchange is your direct link to the product managers, marketers, and the development teams who create and will allow you to review functionality, participate in focus and provide feedback on upcoming Web initiatives

Idea Exchange - Join Our User Focus Program

Contact Us

CME Group/Chicago HQ:
Local: +1 312 930 1000
Toll Free: +1 866 716 7274

Global Customer Contacts

More CME Group Direct Lines
Phone list by department

Global Partnerships


Global Offices Contact Information

Calgary Houston Chicago New York Washington São Paulo Belfast London Singapore Hong Kong Seoul Tokyo Beijing

© 2014 CME Group Inc. All rights reserved.

CME Group is the world's leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace. The company is comprised of four Designated Contract Markets (DCMs). Further information on each exchange's rules and product listings can be found by clicking on the links to CME, CBOT, NYMEX, and COMEX.