Uses: Fuels and Consumer Products

Oil is an important part of daily life in Canada and all over the world. This powerful source of energy moves us, heats our homes and creates jobs – and makes up an important component of everyday consumer products.

All forms of energy are needed to support a growing world population and improve quality of life. Canada’s oil sands will play an important role in meeting these needs.

How is energy used in Canada?

Transportation accounts for 23 per cent of the total energy that Canadians consume — second only in consumption to Canada’s industrial sector. That translates to 200 million litres of gasoline and diesel pumped into fuel tanks across the country on a daily basis just for mobility, without which our modern lifestyle would be impossible.

Developing the oil sands for fuel and products means balancing energy demands with economic benefits and environmental impacts.

Average output from a barrel of oil

Oil fuels our everyday life

The majority of output from a barrel of Canadian oil is used for transportation and mobility, upgraded into several types of fuel:

  • Gasoline: designed for spark-ignition internal combustion engines, commonly used in private and commercial vehicles.
  • Diesel: designed for engines commonly used in trucks that ship goods, buses and public transport, locomotives and farm and heavy equipment. Diesel contains more energy and power density than gasoline.
  • Aviation fuels: specialized petroleum-based fuels used to power various types of aircraft for commercial travel and shipping.

Thousands of everyday products get their start from crude oil. Raw materials used to create items including dishwashing liquid, eyeglasses, DVDs, tires and heart valves are derived from feedstocks from crude oil.

How many petroleum products did you use today?

How many petroleum products did you use today?

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Balancing efficiency and the environment

In order to remain competitive, in-situ producers are optimizing their operations with technological innovations that lower the volume of steam required to produce one unit of oil – a key measure of efficiency.