Biggest Oil Companies In Canada (2023)

List of Biggest Oil Companies In Canada – Crude Oil production in Canada is a major or vital industry which is important to the economy of North America in many ways. Canada has the third largest crude oil reserves in the world, and is also the world’s fourth-largest crude oil producer, and is also the fourth largest crude oil exporter in the World. In 2017, Canada produced (an average figure of) 667,747 cubic meters of crude oil per day.

The crude oil industry in Canada is also referred to as the Canadian “Oil Patch”, and the term refers especially to upstream operations which mean exploration and production of oil and gas. The term could also apply to a lesser degree to downstream operations: which means refining, distribution, and selling of oil and gas products. In 2005, almost 25,000 brand new oil wells were drilled (and confirmed viable for the long term) in Canada. That means business is booming for the players in the Canadian oil industry. Who are they? Who are the biggest oil companies in Canada?

In this article, we list and highlight the Canadian oil companies. Since we cannot talk about every oil company in the country, we will highlight the top ten. This information could be useful for educational purposes, or for those who for personal reasons are looking to research the Canadian oil industry. The information contained herein is not intended for investment purposes. Please consult your financial advisor before investing your money. 

Biggest Oil Companies In Canada

  • Suncor Energy

Suncor Energy Incorporated is Canada’s most popular retail petroleum products distribution chain. It is also the Canada’s largest company by revenue. Established in 1919, as a subsidiary of what eventually became Sunoco Incorporated, Suncor is that one company most responsible than any other for developing the Athabasca tar sands(oil fields), we are talking about oil deposits on land the -size area of the state of New York. These are crude oil deposits located in northern Alberta that hold potentially trillions of barrels of raw Oil: a supply that could last for centuries.

But Suncor does a lot more than hold claim over thousands of square miles of black gold. The company has upstream, midstream, and downstream machinery and operations, The company, with four high-capacity refineries and 1,500 natural gas stations throughout Canada is the Walmart of the Oil Sector. It’s estimated that the monetary value of the ground beneath Suncor’s surface operations is worth tens of millions of dollars, and that figure could rise over the next few years.

  • Imperial Oil

Even more, than a century after it was broken up by U.S. regulators, John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil remains North America’s major player in the production and refining of crude oil. On the continent, this is still probably the biggest oil company in the world, although it does not make that claim in Canada. Its spawn includes Exxon Mobil Corporation, Chevron Corporation, parts (shares)of British Petroleum plc, and in Canada, Imperial Oil Limited.
This company is almost 70% owned by Exxon Mobil Corporation. Imperial Oil Limited also conducts both upstream which means exploration and production, as well as downstream which means distribution and marketing businesses. Imperial has a huge presence in the arid but productive landscapes of western Canada. The company not only has major, or significant interests in the Athabasca sands (oil fields) but also in the areas in and around the Greater Sierra fields of northeastern British Columbia and the southwest Northwest areas.

  • Husky Energy

Like most of its fellows in this vital and highly profitable industry, Husky Energy Incorporated is present through every step of the process, from drilling at the source to flowing into customers’ vehicle tanks. Established in 1930 in Wyoming, USA, this Canadian company which is based in Calgary is the first player on our list which has noteworthy operations outside North America. Husky owns and operates a large deep-water gas project in the South China Sea, and also has a 40% stake in a nearby sub-sea oil field. Husky oil is at the forefront of Canada – China relations. That is in addition to Husky Energy’ Atlantic Ocean operations, located primarily off the coast of Newfoundland.

  • Cenovus Energy

Based on the oil and gas operations of its former parent company EnCana Corporation, Cenovus Energy Incorporated manages two major projects in the Athabasca Sands(oil fields). Also headquartered in Calgary, Cenovus Energy owns more than half of Foster Creek(in the Athabasca Sands). Forster Creek has a deposit which is about 1500 feet below the surface. On the downstream side of operations, Cenovus Energy is a 50% partner with a ConocoPhillips in two U.S. based refineries, one outside of St. Louis, and the other one in the middle of the Texas Panhandle- these operations are a major part of Cenovus Energy’ balance sheet.

Biggest Oil Companies In Canada

  • Canadian Natural Resources

One of the few homegrown and fully owned Canadian oil companies on our list, Canadian Natural Resources Limited was established in 1973 in Calgary, and spent its first 20 years or so as underdogs. That changed with the fast development of the Athabasca sands oil fields, which Canadian Natural had invested heavily on. The Company went on to spread its wings the company makes billions in revenue from offshore operations in the oil fields in the North Sea. But for that is not where the company makes most of its juice, every dollar the company makes in Europe, it makes several more from its light crude blocks in West and Central Africa. Canadian Natural Resources has deep-water operations off the shores of Ivory Coast, Ghana and also Gabon. Furthermore, in 2014, it took over drilling in the Southern Outeniqua basin, which is just about 200 miles from the coast of the Cape of Good Hope.

  • Syncrude Canada

Syncrude Canada Limited is a company that specializes in synthetic crude oil which is bitumen that’s been removed from the Earth and lightly distilled and thinned so it can be transported but has not been refined. Syncrude operates only in its home province of Alberta.

Another point of contrast between Syncrude and its contemporaries is that Syncrude doesn’t trade publicly. It is not really a company by itself, but rather a legal coming together of seven major oil-and-gas firms.

  • EnCana

EnCana is the parent company of Cenovus Energy, although they are now legally separate companies. EnCana has focused on natural gas, with operations in British Columbia, Alberta and off the coast of Nova Scotia. However, EnCana still retains oil projects in its American operations. In fact, the company’s U.S. subsidiary is named EnCana Oil & Gas.

  • Harvest Operations

Harvest Operations has wells dotting all over Alberta and Saskatchewan and also has a refinery in Newfoundland. Harvest Operations does business only in Canada. The company has seen heavy financial investment from the management at Korea National Oil Corporation since 2009.

  • Frontera Energy

Frontera Energy was legally established in 2017, although in truth this company’ existence dates back to 1985. A series of management problems, including bankruptcy caused it to change names a couple of times. It produces a huge percentage of the crude oil coming out of Peru and Colombia and also has a controlling stake in another huge deposit in Guatemala. For a 2-year-old company (as at July 2019) this company is really impressive in size, but 2 years is too short to properly evaluate the company’s long term prospects, and so a Caveat is quite in order, especially for individual investors looking to invest in Canada’s oil boom.

  • Repsol Canada

Repsol Canada was just a single filling station business in London, Ontario Canada in 1925. But it grew to the multinational size and was eventually bought by British Petroleum. From there it has undergone many changes and has metamorphosed into Repsol Canada. This is a big company boasting 680,000 barrels of oil in production per day. With about 1.1 million net acres of land in Western Canada, Repsol is a major player in the Canadian oil and gas industry.


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