Oil and Gas Sector


If you are in Canada’s oil and gas sector, Canada’s free trade agreements (FTAs) and foreign investment promotion and protection agreements (FIPAs) are creating opportunities for businesses like yours.

From years of experience, Canada’s oil and gas sector has developed globally recognized skills and techniques, especially for working in harsh climates and cold water. Consequently, Canadian technology and expertise are in demand around the world. Examples of Canadian technology and expertise that are marketed beyond Canada include that related to seismic line mulching, automated drilling, multistage fracturing and ice management.

In 2011 oil and gas extraction accounted for 18.6 percent (or $83.3 billion) of total Canadian merchandise exports. However, technology and expertise are also important exports—helping  oil and gas companies even out fluctuations in activity resulting from economic and seasonal factors. The United States is the main export destination followed by China, Australia, South Africa and Israel.

As well as contributing to Canada’s export balance sheet, the oil and gas industry is an important source of jobs for Canadians. Approximately 102,000 people across the country are directly employed in the industry. That is why the Government of Canada is ensuring that the needs of companies in this sector are reflected in bilateral government-to-government commercial agreements such as FTAs and FIPAs.

For example:

  • The Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement (implemented in August 2009) extends the Canada-Peru FIPA and further protects the interests of Canadian investors in Peru’s rapidly growing natural gas industry with binding international arbitration to resolve disputes.
  • The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (implemented in August 2011) eliminates tariffs on Canadian exports of most oil and gas equipment and services. Demand in Colombia is strong for engineering, geophysical and mapping services, as well as oilfield services such as drilling. The agreement also facilitates access for temporary foreign workers.
  • Since the North American Free Trade Agreement came into effect in 1994, Canada’s exports of energy have grown substantially, rising more than sixfold to over $82 billion in 2011. That year, Canada exported slightly more than 2.7 million barrels of oil per day to the United States.

For more information about new international business opportunities and how Canada’s FTAs and FIPAs can help your company in a particular market, please contact a trade commissioner or check out the Trade Commissioner Service website.