Saskatchewan Minerals Industry

Saskatchewan’s upstream oil and gas industry provides an estimated 36,000 person years of employment (direct and indirect).  

In 2016-17, the industry contributed approximately $600 million in revenue to the provincial economy.  

Saskatchewan ranked second in Canada for oil and gas investment in the Fraser Institute’s 2018 Global Petroleum Survey.

Our Competitive Edge  

Saskatchewan is Canada’s second-largest oil producer, accounting for 12% of total crude oil production and the sixth-largest onshore oil-producing jurisdiction in Canada and the United States behind Texas, Alberta, North Dakota, California, and Alaska.  

In 2017, Saskatchewan produced 177.2 million barrels (28.2 million cubic metres) of oil.  There are approximately 37,000 active oil wells in the province.

Remaining recoverable oil reserves are 1.2 billion barrels (193.9 million cubic metres).  Saskatchewan is the third-largest natural gas producing province in Canada. In 2017, gas production was 188.3 billion cubic feet (5.3 billion cubic metres).  

Remaining recoverable gas reserves are 1.8 trillion cubic feet (51.6 billion cubic metres).  

Improvements to horizontal oil well drilling and completion techniques have greatly improved production from formations such as the Bakken (southeast Saskatchewan), the Lower Shaunavon (southwest) and the Viking (west-central).  

Other opportunities exist in shale gas in central and east-central Saskatchewan along with an estimated 2.7 million hectares of oil sands potential adjacent to the massive Athabasca deposit.

Innovation and Opportunity

Opportunities abound in exploration, extraction, processing and refining; $2.8 billion was spent in exploration and development in 2016, and an estimated $4.8 billion was spent in 2017.  

An extensive network of pipelines and rail ensures quick turnaround from drilling to market.  

Saskatchewan has a crude oil refining capacity of approximately 109,000 barrels (17,323 cubic metres) per day and heavy crude oil upgrading capacity of approximately 137,000 barrels (21,773 cubic metres) per day. Disclaimer: The information in this document is accurate as of December 2018; however, the Government of Saskatchewan accepts no liability for any actions taken as a result of the information contained herein.


Currently approximately 12% of the 56 billion barrels (8.9 billion cubic metres) of oil in-place is recoverable based on current and expected conditions. With approximately 88% of the oil remaining in the ground, there is excellent potential for the use of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technology.  

EOR technologies like polymer floods, carbon dioxide (CO2) injection and steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) have the potential to increase investment and resource recoveries in Saskatchewan.  

The Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) is currently undertaking the Aquistore Project, which is the first industrial-scale deep saline formation CO2 storage project in Canada.  

Two major CO2 flood projects are presently active in the province; one in the Weyburn Unit by Whitecap Resources Inc. and one in the Midale Unit by Cardinal Energy Ltd. Together these projects are projected to recover 267 million barrels (42.4 million cubic metres) of incremental oil, lengthen each unit’s operating life by at least 25 years and provide underground storage for approximately 35 million tonnes of CO2.

The Investment Climate  

High exploration and development potential  

Public land sales held six times a year  

Excellent land access to drilling sites  

Lower drilling costs due to shallower drilling depths and well-defined geology  Technological advances allow greater oil production at a lower cost

Affordable land prices – lower overall business and industrial costs  

Central North American location with excellent transportation services and access to markets

The Bottom Line

Tax and Royalty Structures  

Stable, competitive royalty rates – among the lowest in Canada – developed in partnership with industry and which are sensitive to price and production rates  

Low ‘fourth tier’ royalties and freehold production taxes applicable to all newly drilled conventional oil and gas wells  

Drilling incentives for new horizontal oil wells, deep oil wells and exploratory wells  Reduced royalty/freehold production tax rates for incremental oil produced due to enhanced oil recovery projects

Support and Infrastructure  

Over a 40-year history of supplying goods and services to the oil and gas industry in Canada and around the world  

Access to extensive crude oil and natural gas gathering systems connected to interprovincial and international pipeline networks  

Leading-edge research and development (R&D) capabilities through the PTRC, the Saskatchewan Research Council and the International Test Centre for Carbon Dioxide Capture  

Qualifying R&D field projects are eligible for a 30% to 50% royalty credit under the Saskatchewan Petroleum Research Incentive  

Streamlined and responsive regulatory system  Producers have access to extensive geological data (the most complete core lab in Canada), seismic data, well location maps and well data  

Hard-working, skilled, reliable and productive workforce

For more information, contact:

Mr. Rick Musleh

Deputy Director, Investment

Saskatchewan Ministry of Trade and Export Development

1000, 2103

11th Avenue Regina, SK S4P 3Z9

Phone: (306) 787-0972

Email: [email protected]

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