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The clean tech market in the oil and gas sector in the Calgary region is estimated to be $1.3B in 2017


The World Economic Forum projects digitization in the oil and gas industry could unlock up to $1.6T U.S. in value globally

Calgary has long been known as an energy city. Alberta is Canada’s largest oil and natural gas producer and is home to vast oil sands deposits. Calgary is the epicenter of the energy industry in Canada with head offices of every major company in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors located in the city.

As a global energy producer, the economic opportunities are significant and driven by research and innovation in production technology and process improvements. Canada’s oil and gas industry is the single largest private sector investor in the country, forecast to invest $45 billion in 2017.  

Conventional energy and primary resources account for nearly one-third of Calgary’s GDP and both renewable energy and clean technology are fast growing contributors to the energy sector. The Calgary Region is estimated to account for $1.3 billion of Alberta’s $2.7 billion market in clean technology in 2017. More than 140 companies in the Calgary Region are developing and supplying clean technology products or related services for the oil and gas industry.   


World-scale oil and gas resources

Canada is both the fifth-largest producer of crude oil and the fifth-largest producer of natural gas in the world – with Alberta home to about three-quarters of the country’s production. Alberta’s oil sands are the third-largest crude oil reserves in the world.

These critical resources attract global investment. Canada’s oil and gas industry is the largest private sector investor in the country, forecast to invest $45 billion in 2017. The robust mergers and acquisitions market and the large underwriting requirements for energy projects means the average deal in Calgary is estimated to be $197 million.

This wealth of resources has drawn every major company in the industry to Calgary. Of the 115 head offices in Calgary, more than two-thirds are in the energy and oil field services sectors. With this concentration of energy leaders, decisions are made in Calgary. This concentration of head offices has attracted energy services, engineering, geoscience and environmental firms as well as legal, financial, human resources and IT services that have created an ecosystem where collaboration happens every day. 

Research and innovation leader

Calgary energy companies have been leaders in advancing technology in areas from hydraulic fracturing to thermal oil sands production to pipeline integrity. In today’s energy sector, clean energy technology is a major driving force in the industry. Striving to compete in a lower carbon economy globally, the industry is investing heavily to incorporate clean technology solutions in oil and gas while also developing renewable energy sources.

Organizations like the Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) and Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) are catalysts for advancement in the industry. Large energy companies formed COSIA to drive improvements in operational efficiency and environmental performance around greenhouse gases, land, water and tailings. They have shared more than 900 technologies that cost $1.33 billion to develop. CRIN is a network of industry, innovators, academia, financiers and government aimed at accelerating the commercialization of technologies that help deliver energy with a lower environmental footprint and higher productivity.    

The University of Calgary and SAIT are partners in a $75 million, seven-year Canada First Research Excellence Fund to implement the Global Research Initiative in Sustainable Low Carbon Unconventional Resources. The initiative will include collaborating with organizations in China, Mexico and Israel to tackle the challenges that make extraction of oil and gas carbon intensive.

Highly skilled workforce

With a history as an energy-focused city, Calgary is home to a highly skilled workforce experienced in the energy industry. Calgary’s seven post-secondary institutions offer programming tailored to the industry, feeding a workforce that has the second highest level of educational attainment in Canada. Twenty-seven per cent of all bachelors degree or higher program completions are in STEM disciplines. Individuals with knowledge of how the oil and gas industry operates, and ways to improve efficiency as well as reducing environmental impacts are pivoting to roles developing clean technology.  

Digitization and big data

Calgary’s oil and gas sector is actively digitizing their operations in order to stay competitive and realize efficiencies. Leveraging big data and analytics, the industrial internet of things (IIoT), artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality and sensors will significantly increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve environmental efficiencies. These technologies will act as enablers for clean technologies by providing better information and efficiencies, leading to improved project de-risking and decision making. The World Economic Forum has projected digitization globally could unlock up to $1.6 trillion US of value in the oil and gas industry.

Significant opportunities lie in the data collected by well sites. Data collected from a single well can amount to terabytes of information however it’s estimated that greater than 90 per cent of all data collected by oil and gas companies is not analyzed. The amount of data the industry generates represents a significant opportunity for companies developing software for analysis or cloud computing solutions. When integrated with cloud computing and intelligent software, machine learning and AI can provide oil and gas operators a powerful platform for real-time decision making, storage and dissemination and knowledge and interaction among employees.

Technologies on-site, including virtual reality and sensing, will also play a critical role in digitization. Oil and gas facilities are complex. Virtual reality can help create safe spaces for workers to conduct maintenance, train staff and enable input from many locations saving travel, time and money. Improved sensors are already helping with better decision making to detect issues or even prevent them before they occur. 


Clean Tech in Oil and Gas Summary Report

The clean tech in oil and gas market is estimated at $1.3 billion in the Calgary region. Learn more about how clean tech and digitization is transforming the energy industry.

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External Links:

Alberta Energy Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN)
Alberta Labour Grant & Contribution Programs - Technology Companies
Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)    
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC)
Need more information?
Megan Zimmerman

Megan Zimmerman

Director, Business Development

Cell Phone: (403) 803-1913

Office Phone: (403) 221-7830


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