Key Facts and Figures on the Natural Resources Sector

Canada is blessed with a vast wealth of natural resources, which contributes significantly to our national economy. Resource industries play a critical role in delivering jobs, growth and prosperity for Canadians. Below you will find key information demonstrating the importance of the natural resources sectors to the Canadian economy.

 

 

JOBS AND ECONOMY

Employment and Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Natural resources directly and indirectly account for almost one-fifth of nominal GDP and 1.8 million jobs.

 

Source: Natural Resources Canada estimates (July 2015), based on Statistics Canada data

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Contribution to nominal GDP, in percent, 2014:

This graphic is a pie-chart showing the contribution to nominal GDP of the natural resources sector and other sectors of the economy.

Sectors other than natural resources are responsible for 80% of nominal GDP.

A curly bracket shows that the natural resources sector’s contribution, which encompasses its direct and indirect contributions, is 20% of nominal GDP.

The natural resources sector indirectly contributes 5% of nominal GDP.

The natural resources sector directly contributes 15% of nominal GDP.

A rectangular bar shows the details of the 15%. The energy sector contributes 10% of nominal GDP, the mining sector contributes 4% and the forest sector 1%.

Contribution to Total Employment, 2014:

This graphic is a pie-chart showing the contribution to total employment of the natural resources sector and other sectors of the economy:

Sectors other than natural resources contribute 16,000,000 jobs.

A curly bracket shows that the natural resources sector’s contribution, which encompasses its direct and indirect contributions, is 1,800,000 jobs.

The natural resources sector indirectly contributes 900,000 jobs.

The natural resources sector directly contributes 900,000 jobs.

A rectangular bar shows the details for the direct contribution (900,000 jobs) of the natural resources sector: The energy sector contributes 300,000 jobs, the mining sector contributes 400,000 jobs and the forest sector 200,000 jobs.

 

Revenues to Government

On average, over the last 5 years, natural resource firms have contributed about $26 billion per year in revenue for all governments (2009-2013).

Rail and Shipping

Natural resource products account for more than two thirds of rail and marine shipments in Canada.

Aboriginal Employment

The natural resources sector is a leading employer for Aboriginal people. It employs about 30,000 Aboriginal people, representing 7% of all Aboriginal people employment.

 

Production of Key Commodities

Canada is the global leader in the production of potash and newsprint. It ranks among the top-three global producers for uranium, softwood lumber, wood pulp, aluminum, platinum group metals and hydroelectricity.

Canadian Production of Key Commodities, 2012-2014

Global Production Rank Minerals and Metals (2014)
Potash 1st
Uranium 2nd
Aluminum 3rd
Platinum group metals 3rd
Nickel 4th
Diamonds 5th
Gold 5th
Zinc 7th
Copper 9th
Iron Ore 10th
Coal 12th
Global Production Rank Energy (2013)
Hydroelectricity (2012) 3rd
Natural Gas 5th
Petroleum (crude oil) 5th
Electricity (2012) 6th
Global Production Rank Forest (2013)
Newsprint 1st
Softwood Lumber 2nd
Wood Pulp 2nd

Source: US Geological Survey (2014 preliminary data), Energy Markets Fact Book (NRCan), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Pulp and Paper Products Council (PPPC)

 

INVESTMENT

Major Projects

There are hundreds of major resource projects under construction or planned over the next 10 years in Canada, worth over $700 billion in investment.

Planned and Underway Major Projects

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Source: Natural Resources Canada, provincial and territorial governments, specialized databases, various company websites. Minimum investment of $50 million per project ($20 million for forest and electricity projects). As of July 2015.

 
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Planned and Under Construction Major Projects:

This graphic is a vertical bar chart showing the value of major projects investments that are planned or under construction in the natural resources sectors: In total, projects that are planned or under construction in Canada are valued at $711 billion. In the energy sector, projects under construction are valued at $147 billion, while planned projects are valued at $422 billion. In the mining sector, projects under construction are valued at $30 billion, while planned projects are valued at $109 billion. In the forest sector, projects under construction are valued at $0.4 billion, while planned projects are also valued at $1.6 billion.

 

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

The stock of foreign direct investment in Canada’s natural resource sectors was valued at $271 billion in 2014, representing 37% of total foreign direct investment.

Canadian Direct Investment Abroad (CDIA)

The stock of the natural resource sectors’ Canadian direct investment abroad was valued at $199 billion in 2014, representing 24% of the Canadian total.

FDI and CDIA in NR sectors 2014

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Source: Natural Resources Canada calculations, based on Statistics Canada data

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FDI and CDIA in the Natural Resources Sectors, 2014

This graphic is a vertical bar chart showing the value of foreign direct investment (FDI) and Canadian direct investment abroad (CDIA) in the natural resources sector:

In the Energy sector, FDI is valued at $192 billion, while CDIA is valued at $109 billion.

In the Mining sector, FDI is valued at $68 billion, while CDIA is valued at $85 billion.

In the forest sector, FDI is valued at $12 billion, while CDIA is valued at $6 billion.

 

New Capital Investment

In 2014, natural resource companies invested $126 billion, representing nearly half of total non-residential capital investment in Canada.  In addition, Canada’s mining and oil and gas industries invested $9.1 billion in exploration expenses in 2014.

Capital expenditures 2014

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Source: Natural Resources Canada calculations, based on Statistics Canada data; totals may not add due to rounding.

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Capital Expenditures, 2014 ($ billion):

This graphic is a doughnut chart showing the contribution to total non-residential capital expenditures of the natural resources sector and other sectors of the economy:

Sectors other than natural resources contribute $139 billion to total non-residential capital expenditures.

The forest sector contributes $3 billion to total non-residential capital expenditures.

The mining sector contributes $15 billion to total non-residential capital expenditures.

The energy sector contributes $108 billion to total non-residential capital expenditures.

Overall, the natural resources sector contributes $126 billion to total non-residential capital expenditures.

 

 

TRADE

Exports

Valued at $259 billion in 2014, natural resources account for more than half of Canada’s merchandise exports. The US (78%), the UK (5%) and China (4%) are the three main destinations of natural resources exports. The U.S. is the destination of 97% of energy exports, 66% of forest products exports and 52% of minerals and metals exports.

Exports

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Source: Natural Resources Canada calculations, based on Statistics Canada data

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Canada’s Merchandise Exports, 2014 ($ billion):

This graphic is a doughnut chart showing the contribution to total merchandise exports of the natural resources sector and other sectors of the economy:

Sectors other than natural resources contribute $233 billion to total merchandise exports.

The forest sector contributes $31 billion to total merchandise exports.

The mining sector contributes $89 billion to total merchandise exports.

The energy sector contributes $139 billion to total merchandise exports.

Overall, the natural resources sector contributes 53% of total merchandise exports.

Natural Resources Exports by Destination (%):

This graphic is a vertical bar chart showing the percentage of natural resources that are exported to the following countries: US, UK, Japan, China and others. In the energy sector (first bar), 97% are exported to the US, 1% to the UK and 3% to others. In the mining sector (second bar), 52% are exported to the US, 12% to the UK, 6% to China, 4% to Japan and 26% to others. In the forest sector (last bar), 66% are exported to the US, 1% to the UK, 16% to China,  5% to Japan and 13% to others.

 

 

REGIONAL IMPACT

The natural resources sector makes a significant economic contribution throughout Canada. For example, it accounts for nearly a third of total GDP in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Northwest Territories. Also, the forest sector directly accounts for over 20% of the income in 171 municipalities across Canada.

  Share of Nominal GDP, 2014 Employment,
2014
Planned and Underway Major Projects
Newfoundland and Labrador 33% 12,000 $44B
Prince Edward Island 3% 1,000 $0.1B
Nova Scotia 7% 11,000 $26B
New Brunswick 12% 20,000 $5B
Quebec 10% 178,000 $67B
Ontario 7% 237,000 $39B
Manitoba 9% 24,000 $11B
Saskatchewan 31% 39,000 $27B
Alberta 31% 210,000 $204B
British Columbia 11% 111,000 $248B
Yukon 14% 2,000 $7B
Northwest Territories 33% 3,000 $5B
Nunavut 21% 1,000 $4B

Source: Employment and GDP: Natural Resources Canada estimates, based on Statistics Canada data
Major Projects Values: Natural Resources Canada, provincial and territorial governments, specialized databases, various company websites. Minimum investment of $50 million per project ($20 million for forest and electricity projects), as of July 2015. In addition to the values presented above, there is an additional $26 billion worth of multi-regions projects.

ENERGY MARKET DIVERSIFICATION: CANADA'S ENERGY FUTURE

World Energy Demand

The International Energy Agency projects that by 2040, the world will need 37% more energy than is being produced today. Nearly all of the increase in energy demand (97%) is expected to come from non-OECD countries, with over 60% coming from non-OECD Asia.

World Oil Reserves

Canada has the 3rd largest oil reserves in the world behind Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.

Oil Sands Sector’s Potential

In 2014, 58% of Canada’s oil production came from oil sands. Oil sands represent 97% of Canada’s proven reserves. Its ultimate potential is estimated at 315 billion barrels as technology improves. Capital investments in the sector are estimated to $243B to date – including an estimated $30B in 2014.

Proven oil reserves 2013

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Source: Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Energy Resources Conservation Board, Oil and Gas Journal

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World Oil Reserves

This graphic is a horizontal bar chart showing the world’s proven oil reserves as they were at the end of 2013. Venezuela has the biggest reserves with 298 billion barrels. Saudi Arabia is second with 268 billion barrels. Canada is third with 173 billion barrels. Iran is fourth with 157 billion barrels. Iraq is fifth with 140 billion barrels. Kuwait is sixth with 104 billion barrels.

 

Pipeline Safety

Between 2008 and 2014, 99.999% of the crude oil and petroleum product transported on federally-regulated pipelines was done so safely.

GHG Emissions

The Oil Sands sector represents 8.5% of Canada’s total GHG emissions and 0.1% of global emissions. GHG emissions per barrel of oil produced from the oil sands decreased by 30between 1990 and 2013.

Note: The economic activity associated with coal and uranium mining is often captured in both energy and mining statistics. In the context of this document, coal and uranium mining have been included in the minerals and metals sector for the purpose of reporting economic activity in the natural resources sector.  However, coal and uranium are often referred to as energy commodities when describing energy sources.