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2 Black gold: Alberta's oil resources WHY LOOK AT ALBERTA'S OIL RESOURCES? Economics and Research, ATB Financial From a highly-educated workforce and extensive infrastructure to stunning geography and dynamic cities, Alberta has a lot going for it. We also have oil— lots and lots of oil. Alberta is home to agricultural land, trees, minerals and natural gas—all of which are vitally important to our economic prosperity. But oil stands out as the most controversial asset in our repertoire of natural resources and as the one sector that can single-handedly propel our economy into a boom or drag it into a bust. The controversies arise out of the environmental effects of oil sands production and the longstanding debate about how to make the Alberta economy less reliant on the volatile fortunes of oil production. The massive amount of revenue and investment generated by the oil sector account for its ability to tilt the economy toward a boom (when oil prices are high) and toward a bust (when oil prices are low). And while many Albertans could probably cite the daily price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude, there is room to improve our understanding of just how much oil we have, how much we produce and who buys it. This edition of Perch presents a handy set of answers to these questions. What about natural gas? We tend to refer to Alberta's oil and gas sector as a single entity but it makes sense to address oil separately for two reasons. First, while both are significant assets, the economic impact of our oil has come to dwarf that of our natural gas. For example, the value of our international crude oil exports was almost six times that of our natural gas exports in 2015. Second, while there is a great deal of overlap between the oil and gas sectors, they face different challenges and opportunities. ATB's Economics and Research team will examine the key facts and trends relevant to natural gas in a future report. About Perch Thanks for taking a moment to read ATB Financial's Perch. Published quarterly, each edition focuses on a topic of importance to Albertans and their prosperity. Subscribe here at Who are we? We are ATB Financial's Economics & Research team. We work to share our province's economic story and to connect Albertans to the economic news and ideas they need to know about. Head on over to to get a better look at who we are and what we do.

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