Energy production is the economic backbone of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. The region’s proximity to Alberta’s oilsands — the 3rd largest oil reserve in the world — has led to global investment and world-renowned innovation in this sector.
Energy businesses thrive in the region thanks to complex transportation and pipeline systems, as well as world-class infrastructure in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. An energy pioneer, the region is home to a booming petrochemical industry creating new business opportunities, exploring cleantech innovations, and attracting billions in capital investment.
The Edmonton Metropolitan Region is close to abundant energy resources including oilsands deposits, conventional fields, massive natural gas reserves, and coal sites. The region's energy services sector is second to none. Many technologies and practices have been created here that are now used around the world. Conveniences in our own backyard have given the region a competitive advantage in research, innovation, equipment, and well-priced feedstock for downstream production.
The region is known throughout the world for its expertise in the energy sector. We’re home to unique skillsets that are in demand for a variety of consulting purposes. Delegations come from all over to learn from local expertise in:
Fueling this expertise is a well-trained and knowledgeable workforce. The Edmonton Metropolitan Region’s post-secondary institutions provide a talent pipeline to the pipelines. With strengths in research, engineering, and apprenticeship training, the region supports the energy sector with the right skills to get the job done.
With close access to feedstocks, the region has developed an extensive petrochemical industry. Oil and natural gas are piped into Alberta’s Industrial Heartland where they are manufactured into $13.5 billion worth of annual feedstocks like propane, ethylene, cellulose acetate, and polyethylene.
These petrochemical byproducts are used to manufacture everything from home insulation to engine oil, gasoline additives to recycled steel, medical equipment to rocket fuel.
Alberta’s Industrial Heartland
Alberta’s Industrial Heartland is a concentration of world-class refining and processing operations. It is the largest hydrocarbon processing centre in Canada and the center of petrochemical activity in Western Canada. More than 40 national and multinational companies operate in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, representing over $40 billion in current capital investment. These operations are dynamic, innovative, and leading the way to a greener future.
Road, air, rail, and port
Integrated logistics allow companies to easily transport commodities locally and internationally. The region is well connected with Asia with the Port of Prince Rupert cutting shipping distance in half when compared to Gulf Coast hubs. The Edmonton International Airport (EIA) also has cargo partnerships with many Asian airlines.
Solution-mined salt caverns 1,800m below the surface create efficient natural storage capacity for a number of operations.
Alberta has access to an abundance of fresh-water resources and low-cost electricity, reducing operating costs associated with downstream processing.
The Edmonton Metropolitan Region serves as a hub for the province’s pipeline system. Major pipelines like Trans Mountain, Keystone, and Enbridge connect to a 373,000km regional network. Pipelines supply the petrochemical industry with feedstocks and deliver oil, natural gas, and hydrocarbon products throughout North America.
Leduc-Nisku Industrial Park
The largest petroleum manufacturing industrial park in Canada and the 2nd largest in North America.
There are 4 refineries in the region belonging to Shell, Suncor, Imperial Oil, and the Northwest Redwater Partnership. These operations represent ¼ of Canada’s total refining capacity.
The region is pursuing energy innovation by developing eco-friendly practices to increase efficiency and reduce its environmental impact.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is one example, where carbon dioxide from energy operations is safely stored deep underground to effectively lower emissions. Shell Quest, located at the region’s Scotford complex, is the first facility of its kind to use CCS to store a million tonnes of CO2 per year— the equivalent of taking 250,000 cars off the road.
We’re not only pushing innovation in oil and gas — we’re expanding into new territory with renewable energy. By leveraging our local expertise, we are pioneering the future of the energy sector on a global scale.
A multi-stakeholder, province-wide, and industry-focused group working to support Albertans developing cleantech products and services that improve economic performance and reduce environmental impact.
A consortium formed to purse federal funding for innovation research and focus on new technologies to reduce water use, reclaim developed land, monitor emissions, digitize operations, and examine low-emission end uses for hydrocarbons.
A research institute hosted in the UAlberta faculty of engineering that supports discovery and innovation across a broad range of areas related to oilsands mining and upgrading.
A recent initiative that includes a $75 million investment from the federal government to integrate Future Energy Systems technologies into Alberta’s oil and gas energy infrastructure.
A research centre working with industry to develop technologies that improve the economic and environmental performance of Alberta’s oilsands operations.