Occupations in the petroleum industry fit in the
three categories of upstream, midstream, and
downstream. The upstream sector of the industry
deals with exploration, removal, and production.
This includes seismic, drilling, technical, and
supply companies. Employment in the upstream sector
fell by 25 percent between 1985 and 1992. However, a
massive recovery occurred and employment levels rose
between 1994 and 2000. Statistics Canada estimates
that in 2001 over 120,000 people were directly
employed in the upstream petroleum industry.
The Midstream sector is focused on transportation
for the petroleum industry. It consists of pipeline
systems that connect producing and consuming areas.
Other midstream areas are facilities that extract
sulphur and natural gas, store oil and gas products,
and transport materials by truck, rail, and tanker.
Estimates on how many people are employed in this
sector are hard to discern since it would cover
people building the pipelines to oil
In the oil and gas industry downstream refers to
the industry that deals with the refining and
distributing of oil and
gas. On the
downstream, employment fell sharply in the early
1990s, but has begun a steady improvement over the
last ten years. The future of the downstream sector
depends on its ability to compete with refined
product imports. If the domestic production
increases, then the downstream sector will be able
to hire on more people to deal with the increase.