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Crude Oil

Oil RefineryCrude oil plays a central role in the daily lives of Canadians. Our land, sea and air transportation depends almost entirely on products refined from crude oil. (In fact, it is easier to list the few transportation methods that do not depend on crude oil—walking, bicycling and horse-powered transports, electric rail and trolley systems, and a small percentage of motor vehicles that have been converted to run on propane and natural gas.) Sophisticated processing facilities called refineries convert about three quarters of our crude oil into transportation fuels. Most other refined oil products are used to heat homes and buildings, generate electricity, and manufacture lubricants, waxes, plastics, synthetic rubber and asphalt.

The crude oil industry is also a key component of the Canadian economy. The industry provides thousands of jobs in exploration, production, transportation, refining, distribution and marketing. It pays billions of dollars in taxes and other payments to municipal, provincial and federal governments, and significant amounts to private landowners and Aboriginal people. And it supports many kinds of technological research and development, which enables Canadian companies to sell equipment and services around the world. 

Petroleum Communication Foundation. Canada's Crude Oil Resources. Edmonton: Petroleum Communication Foundation, 2001. With permission from the Centre for Energy.



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