Exploration & Production

The upstream oil and gas industry in Canada includes over 1,000 exploration and production companies, from small “juniors” or “start-ups” focused on small areas or specific activities, to large multinationals with diverse operations.

E&P companies search for oil and gas, acquire land and mineral rights, conduct public involvement programs and oversee operations on their leases. They do not drill or complete wells. Instead, they contract drilling and service companies to do the field work required at and near the well site. Offshore and oil sands activities are also included in the E&P sector.

Access to land, and the minerals beneath it, is required in order to drill a well. E&P company land departments negotiate access with owners and federal or provincial governments. Specialized staff, known as landmen (who may be male or female), are responsible for all these negotiations. No exploration or production activity can occur without the necessary permissions and public involvement programs.

For more information on the E&P sector, visit: