Canada is the world's third largest producer of natural gas and the seventh largest producer of crude oil. Oil production includes 45 percent from massive oil sands reserves in Alberta, 13 percent from Atlantic Canada offshore operations, and 42 percent from traditional drill and gush operations. Undeveloped natural gas deposits are primarily located in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. In 2008, Canadian producers are expected to drill over 20,000 wells (includes dry and service). U.S. imports are significant in this sector, holding 56 percent of the market share, as well as 86 percent of the import market. U.S. equipment is recognized for its quality, technological benefits and reputable after-sales-service.
In a recent budget forecast released by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, a 14 percent reduction in capital investment for 2009 is expected from the $50 billion levels of 2008 and 2007. The unprecedented drop in crude oil prices by over $100 per barrel during the last quarter of 2008 has impacted company cash flows and impaired funding of major projects from internally generated funds. Prices of natural gas have also decreased, having a direct impact on drilling levels throughout Canada.
While it is evident that periodic booms and busts characterize the oil and gas sector, industry specialists agree that it continues to deliver wealth. The forecasted CDN$43 billion in capital investment for 2009 is a significant contribution to the national gross domestic product. The Canadian oil and gas industry continues to be a significant part of the country's economy with 92 percent of the national trade surplus, over 15 percent of the national exports and employing over 500,000.
Promising subsectors include specialized mining and extraction equipment for the oil sands of Alberta. Technologies to save water and natural gas use are in demand. Outstanding opportunities exist for providers of exploration, drilling, mining, refining, pipeline environmental, and safety and security equipment and services.