Geoff Morrison of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers addressed the ICBA Industry Outlook on April 23 in Burnaby, B.C.
The oil and gas industry in Canada is important not only to Alberta but nationwide, but oil prices have fallen and the industry is "smaller than it used to be."
$73 billion was invested in 2014, down to $50 billion for 2015. But oil is a significant economic driver for B.C., with 12,000 people directly employed in the B.C. natural gas sector.
$5 billion is estimated for investment in natural gas for 2013, and in comparison $10 billion was put in Site C. "We do that every two years," Morrison said.
Natural gas is seen as a bridge to renewables, Morrison said, and while electricity in B.C. is hydro based, transportation energy is based on oil and gas.
Some of North America's most promising natural gas plays are in B.C., he added, and the flow of natural gas is dramatically changing.
B.C. is selling at a discount to the U.S. and Canada needs to get to markets such as Asia and India to maximize potential. B.C. is in that way tied to the oilsands, who need to get their product to B.C. in order to get it out to Asia.
There are over 600 suppliers in British Columbia today, Morrison said, so the province definitely is involved in the oilsands.
There is also demand in Europe for Canadian gas, he said, given the current geopolitical situation in Russia.