petroleum industry

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In a speech to the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce in London on July 14, 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper referred to Canada as the emerging “energy superpower” that his government “intends to build.”  The prime minister and Joe Oliver, minister of natural resources, have repeated this claim on various occasions since.

While the term “energy superpower” sounds exciting and important, that likely isn’t where the country is heading (and likely not what we want to be). Rather, Canada is on track to become an energy “superproducer” if the right policy framework is in place.


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If you asked a typical Canadian to name the best place for investing in the petroleum industry, they’d likely say Alberta. But ask a typical petroleum executive, and the answer is quite different.

In recent years, executives responding to the Fraser Institute’s annual Global Petroleum Survey have shied away from Alberta, a trend that began in 2009 when the province plummeted in terms of attractiveness for investment following introduction of the so-called New Royalty Framework.