Declining investment in Canada’s oil sands

Lack of pipelines have driven down investment in Canada’s oil sands even as investment grows elsewhere.

In late 2014, a collapse in oil prices caused tough times for the oil industry around the world. Rising global energy demand, however, has spurred a recovery in most places. According to a report by the Fraser Institute, capital expenditures in the U.S. upstream oil and gas industry rose 41 per cent from 2016 to 2018. As the infographic below shows, the same cannot be said for Canada: in 2019, capital investment in Canada’s oil sands industry is forecast to fall for the fifth straight year.

Why are some places seeing a strong recovery while Canada struggles? The difficulty to get any new pipelines built, along with concerns over the cost and uncertainty of Canada’s regulatory system is driving investors, oil production and jobs to other countries.