Navigating Alberta’s Energy Landscape: A Look at Conventional and Unconventional Resources

Alberta, a major contributor to Canada’s energy production, relies on its diverse array of conventional and unconventional energy resources. The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) of Alberta plays a pivotal role in ensuring responsible exploration, development, and delivery of these resources. In their report, “Alberta’s Energy Reserves and Supply/Demand Outlook,” the ERCB provides independent and comprehensive information on reserves, supply, and demand. This valuable data supports informed decision-making and promotes the sustainable development of Alberta’s energy sector.

Alberta’s Leading Role in Energy Production

Alberta boasts a prominent position in Canada’s energy landscape, taking the lead in natural gas and oil production. The ERCB’s report underlines the province’s significant contribution to the nation’s energy supply. However, the report also sheds light on the challenges faced by the natural gas sector and forecasts volatility in crude oil prices. In the face of these challenges, it becomes essential to explore both conventional and unconventional resources to ensure a stable and sustainable energy future for Alberta.

oil production

Tar Sands and Conventional Gas Production

Two key components of Alberta’s energy resources are tar sands and conventional gas. The ERCB’s report emphasizes the importance of these resources in meeting the province’s energy demands. Alberta’s tar sands, including forests and peat bogs, hold immense potential, with an estimated 133 billion barrels of bitumen crude. Simultaneously, conventional gas production is facing a decline, with the ERCB forecasting an average annual decrease of 3.3 percent from 2008 to 2017. Recognizing the significance of these resources, Alberta must strike a balance between their development and sustainable practices.

The Role of the ERCB

As Alberta’s energy regulator, the ERCB plays a crucial role in facilitating the responsible exploration, development, and delivery of energy resources. Their report, “Alberta’s Energy Reserves and Supply/Demand Outlook,” serves as an invaluable resource for industry stakeholders and policymakers. By providing independent information on reserves, supply, and demand, the ERCB enables informed decision-making in the energy sector. This supports the pursuit of sustainable practices and ensures the long-term viability of Alberta’s energy resources.

Promoting Sustainable Energy Resource Development

With the ERCB’s comprehensive information at hand, stakeholders in Alberta’s energy sector can make informed decisions that balance economic growth with environmental responsibility. The report’s insights into reserves, supply, and demand offer a foundation for strategic planning and investment. Alberta’s commitment to responsible resource development and sustainability is further bolstered by the ERCB’s efforts to provide accurate and up-to-date information.

Summing Up

Alberta’s energy landscape is shaped by a blend of conventional and unconventional resources, including tar sands and natural gas. As the ERCB’s report highlights, the province faces both challenges and opportunities in its pursuit of a sustainable energy future. By leveraging the valuable information provided by the ERCB, stakeholders can navigate this complex landscape, making informed decisions that balance economic growth, environmental responsibility, and long-term energy security. Alberta’s Energy Resources Conservation Board plays a critical role in fostering responsible exploration, development, and delivery of energy resources, supporting the province’s commitment to sustainable energy resource development.


  • ERCB, Energy Resources Conservation Board (June 2010). “Annual 2009 ECRB Energy Reserves Outlook”
  • Andy Burrowes; Rick Marsh, Nehru Ramdin, Curtis Evans (2007) (PDF). Alberta’s Energy Reserves 2006 and Supply/Demand Outlook 2007-2016. ST98. Alberta Energy and Utilities Board
  • ERCB. 2011-06. “ST98-2011 Alberta’s Energy Reserves 2010 and Supply/Demand Outlook 2011–2020”
  • “Annual 2009 ECRB Energy Reserves Outlook”