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Oil Sands Projects Production History Graph


Commercial production of oil from Alberta's oil sands began in 1967, when the first mine opened and began producing 30,000 barrels per day (4,800 m3/d) of synthetic crude oil. Development and investment in the oil sands was slow, and the second mine did not begin operating until the late 1970s. During the mid 1980s, a few in situ oil sands operations began production, but thereafter growth in the oil sands industry was slow until 2000 due to very low oil prices. Since 2000, growth and investment in the oil sands industry has expanded with new projects being added every year and production is expected to increase from 1.31 million barrels per day in 2008 to 3 million barrels per day in 2018.


Posted Date: Oct 14, 2010 Source:
Alberta Energy Regulator
Date Range: Jan 1, 1967 - Present Location:   Athabasca Oil Sands, Cold Lake Oil Sands, Peace River Oil Sands
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Usage Considerations

These graphs are based on operator production totals as reported to the Alberta Energy Regulator. This data can also be found in the AER's ST-39 and ST-53 reports.

Note that the historical data provided here is grouped by project, and that some projects have changed ownership over time. As a result, not all of the production displayed here will necessarily have been acquired by the current operator of the project.

These reports do not include data for a) projects that are not currently operational, and b) projects which use polymer flooding technologies.


Further Resources

Approval Viewer >
Environmental Assessment Program - Standardized Terms of Reference - Updated February 2011 >
Environmental Impact Assessments >
Guide to the Preparation of Applications and Reports for Coal and Oil Sands Operations >
Public Lands Administration Regulation >