Alberta Oil and Construction Industries

The rise in oil prices in recent years had led to very strong growth in the oil industry in Alberta. Companies have searched for new sources of oil, and major new construction is taking place as companies build the facilities they need to extract and upgrade the oil they have found.

Within the oil industry Alberta’s huge “oil sands” reserves, estimated at between 1.7 – 2.5 trillion barrels, are of great importance. They are known as such because the oil occurs in a mixture of sand, water and clay. Oil found in this form is more difficult to mine and to process. As a result, these projects need more mining and processing facilities than normal oil production does. This has provided a great deal of work for the construction industry, which is also benefiting from the economic boom in Alberta through higher demand for housing and office space.

Which areas of the province are benefiting most?

The areas which are seeing the most benefit are Fort McMurray, Calgary and Edmonton. Fort McMurray is in the centre of one of the largest oil sands regions in Alberta, and is experiencing major growth as the reserves of oil are brought to production. Calgary and Edmonton have long been major centres of oil production.

What are some of the major projects underway?


Where do you expect these industries to go over the next few years?

Strong demand for oil and high oil prices over the next few years will continue to benefit Alberta’s oil and construction industries. Certain projects have been delayed, and once these are on track again, activity in this sector will increase further. As mentioned above, the booming economy in Alberta has also led to high demand for new houses and office space, and this demand is expected to continue over the coming years.

What is the employment situation in these industries?

Oil and construction workers are in high demand in Alberta. The booming economy has created so many opportunities for trade workers that the province now faces a shortage of skilled workers. Some employers have to recruit workers from outside Canada, so foreign workers have access to some very attractive opportunities.

What trades are in demand?

Click here to see the trades that are in demand.