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In 1914 the province's first major oil field was discovered at Turner Valley. In 1947 the drilling of a successful well at Leduc, Alberta, transformed the nation from oil-poor to oil-rich, overnight. Of Canada’s 173 billion barrels of oil reserves, 170 billion barrels are located in Alberta.
In 2012, Alberta’s crude oil production totalled 88.4 thousand cubic metres (556,000 barrels) of oil per day with a yearly total of 32.3 million cubic metres (204 million barrels). In 2013 Alberta’s production of conventional crude oil totalled 213 million barrels, an increase of five per cent. The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) estimates the remaining established reserves of conventional crude oil in Alberta to be 1.7 billion barrels, representing about one-third of Canada’s remaining conventional reserves.
This was a year-over-year increase of 9.5 per cent, resulting from production, reserves adjustments and additions from drilling that occurred during 2011.
Canada is the third-largest natural gas producer in the world, with the majority of the country’s gas being produced in Alberta, where the first natural gas well was drilled in 1883 in a field near Medicine Hat.|
Alberta is Canada’s largest producer of marketable natural gas, and it has one of the most extensive natural gas systems in the world as part of its energy infrastructure, with more than 400,000 kilometres of energy related pipelines. In 2013, Alberta produced 69 per cent of Canada’s total production, down from 70 per cent in 2012. According to provincial figures, at the end of 2012, remaining established reserves of conventional natural gas stood at 33 trillion cubic feet (tcf), while remaining established coalbed methane gas reserves stood at 2.4 tcf. The province estimates the remaining ultimate potential of marketable conventional natural gas at 74 tcf. Although conventional natural gas remains a very important part of Alberta’s natural gas supply, horizontal drilling and multistage fracturing now allow for development of natural gas from a new source—unconventional natural gas resources.