Part of Energy

Oil sands

Oil sands royalties and information, legislation, reporting, public offerings and sales.


Oil sand is a naturally occurring mixture of sand, clay or other minerals, water and bitumen, which is a heavy and extremely viscous oil. It must be processed before it can be used by refineries to produce fuels such as gasoline and diesel. The Athabasca deposit is the largest, most developed oil sands project in Alberta. It utilizes the most technologically advanced production processes. As more research is done, new technologies are increasing the treatment methods available to oil sands producers. Alberta's oil sands’ proven reserves are equal to about 158.9 billion barrels (bbl). Oil sands can also be found in several locations around the globe, including Venezuela, the United States and Russia.

Crude bitumen production (mined and in-situ) totaled about 3.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2022. Source: AER ST39 and ST53 reports.

Alberta Energy and Minerals manages oil sands royalty and tenure regulations, as well as Crown and individual agreements. These ensure that royalties and rentals are calculated and collected for the benefit of the people of Alberta.

Find out more about About oil sands.

In focus

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Learn about the 4 stages of oil sands, from securing the rights to the reclamation to return the land to its original state.

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Gas over bitumen occurs when natural gas pools are found above bitumen reservoirs.

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Current public offerings and sales of oil sands in Alberta, and results of past sales.

This listing includes tenure and royalty forms check this page to ensure you are using the latest version.

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Oil sands monitoring program

This joint program with the Government of Canada provides comprehensive environmental monitoring data about Alberta’s oil sands areas. 

Learn more 


Connect with oil sands, coal and mineral operations:

Oil Sands Royalty Project Applications and Compliance
Email: [email protected]

Oil Sands Royalty Administration
Email: [email protected]

Oil Sands Royalty Information Management
Email: [email protected]

Oil Sands Tenure
Email: [email protected]