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Home > Alberta's Resource Inventory > Hydrocarbons > Crude Oil > Resource Development > Completion and Servicing

Resource Inventory

Completion and Servicing—Recovering Resources

Service RigAfter drilling has located a reservoir of oil or gas, the operating company's production department takes over the task of bringing the resource to the surface. Petroleum is not produced from underground lakes. Rather, oil and gas are contained in the pores and fractures of certain sedimentary rocks in the same way that water is held in a sponge.

Oil and gas production employs thousands of Canadians in jobs ranging from reservoir engineering to oil field operations and well servicing. Hundreds of businesses provide services to support the drilling and production sectors. Many of these companies are members of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada.

The top priority in recent years has been to make production as efficient as possible. This is necessary because operating costs in Canada have been high compared to the selling prices for oil and gas. One measure of success is that total Canadian oil production did not decline, as was predicted in the 1970s and 1980s, and actually increased in the 1990s to reach a record 150 million cubic metres in 1997 (including natural gas liquids.) Natural gas output also increased substantially, reaching a record total of 161 billion cubic metres in 1997. These production increases were largely due to improved technology, such as horizontal drilling and expanded oil sands mining projects.

Petroleum Communication Foundation. Our Petroleum Challenge: Exploring Canada's Oil and Gas Industry, Sixth Edition. Calgary: Petroleum Communication Foundation, 1999. With permission from the Centre for Energy.

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