image of the book cover of Developing Alberta’s Oil Sands: From Karl Clark to Kyoto

Developing Alberta's Oil Sands: From Karl Clark to Kyoto

Paul Chastko

$44.95 CAD / $46.95 USD (S)

338 pages, 9 illustrations

6 x 9 inches

Hardback: 1552382443

Paperback: 978-1-55238-244-8

Library PDF: 978-1-55238-326-1

May 2004

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The definitive history of Alberta’s oil sands, well-researched, well-written, tightly argued and accessible to anyone interested in the development of this sometimes-controversial resource.

Alberta’s oil sands represent a vast and untapped oil reserve that could reasonably supply all of Canada’s energy needs for the next 475 years. With an estimated 300 billion barrels of recoverable oil at stake, the quest to develop this natural resource has been undertaken by many powerful actors, both nationally and internationally.

Using research that integrates the economic, political, scientific, and business factors that have been influential in discovering and developing the sands, this book provides a comprehensive history of the oil sands project and a window on the nature of the complex relationships between industry, government, and transnational players.

Developing Alberta’s Oil Sands is the first comprehensive volume to examine the origins and development of the oil sands industry over the last century. It is essential reading for all those interested in the oil sands, including academics, politicians, policy-makers, those in the petroleum industry, and anyone curious about Alberta’s economic development.

About the Author

Paul Chastko is a research fellow in the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

Praise for Developing Alberta’s Oil Sands

Developing Alberta’s Oil Sands is a well-researched, well-written, tightly argued book… As oil sands development intensifies, the story will continue. For now, though, this is the definitive study.

—Bonar A. Gow, The Canadian Historical Review 

A valuable and easily accessible narrative of the sands’ development . . . It deserves a place on the bookshelf of academics and the curious public interested in economic development, Canadian politics, and the petroleum industry.

—Erik Lizée, Historie social/Social History 

Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Maps
List of Abbreviations

Part 1: 1920–45

Early History of the Oil Sands in Alberta
Abasand and the Federal–Provincial Conflict
Picking up the Pieces: Reclaiming a Provincial Resource

Part 2: Since 1945

From Scientific Project to Commercial Endeavour
"Within Reach" and "Beyond Reach" Markets: The Reluctant Expansion of the Oil Sands, 1960–69
Flexibility and Paralysis: The Oil Shocks, Government Policy and Intervention, 1970–77
Lost Decade: The National Energy Program and the Collapse of World Oil Prices
Competition’s "Cold Shoer": Remaking the Oil Sands Industry in the Era of Globalization and Free Trade, 1984–2000
Green Patch? Oil Sands Development in Post–Kyoto Canada



WINNER, 2004 Petroleum History Society of Canada Book of the Year | 2004