Scale of bitumen sands investment

2017-10-30

in Canada, Economics, Politics

Midway through the boom’s first wave, in 2006, a Statistics Canada study reported that Alberta was in the midst of “the strongest period of economic growth ever recorded by any Canadian province.” Annual provincial gross domestic product (GDP) and population growth both cleared 10 percent.

When the oil industry’s champions first pitched the federal and provincial governments on more favourable tax and royalty regimes in the mid-1990s, they promised $25 billion in capital expenditure on oil sands projects within 25 years. They hit that mark inside of five years and kept on charging. More than $200 billion was invested in the oil sands from 1999 to 2013. In 2014, the peak year for investment, $34 billion more in capital poured into the Patch. Alberta collected $5.2 billion in royalties from oil sands production the same year.

Turner, Chris. The Patch: The People, Pipelines and Politics of the Oil Sands. Simon & Schuster, 2017. p. 96

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