Oil Sands Course Description

Oak Leaf’s oil sands course digs into some tough questions.  How does the oil sands industry operate?  How do companies leverage technology to produce hydrocarbons profitably from some of the world’s heaviest crude? Why do conflicts arise between the federal government and provincial governments over transporting oil sands crude? What does an increasingly carbon-constrained world mean for the oil sands?  What about the ongoing war in Ukraine?  

There are no simple answers to these questions, but finding answers—or developing strategies to come up with answers—is important in one way or another to all Canadians, especially those working in the energy industry or involved in energy policy and regulation.  To deal with industry complexity, first you need to grasp the fundamentals.

Over two days at Oak Leaf’s Canada’s Oil Sands Industry course, you will gain a solid understanding of the resource base, recovery techniques, upgrading, refining, transportation, markets, and regulations. You will also learn about government policy (including net-zero emissions goals), the oil sands’ effects on Canadian macroeconomics, and the technological, political, geopolitical, environmental, and other forces that influence oil sands operations and development. You will investigate and discuss these issues and information with the instructor and other course participants, adding new knowledge and analytical tools to your skillset.

Our goal at each Oak Leaf Training course is to make complex issues and concepts understandable. Oak Leaf’s oil sands instructor, Bruce Peachey, is an effective communicator with over 40 years of experience in heavy oil and the oil sands, working for a major industry player and as an independent engineering consultant.  He also teaches at the University of Alberta. The course is highly interactive — with activities, videos, and discussion all designed to develop practical industry knowledge. At the end of the two days, you will return to your organization with greater understanding of the oil sands, how the industry affects your professional role, and unique insight into the possible directions the industry could take.

If you can’t attend Canada’s Oil Sands Industry in person, but can participate ONLINE, Oak Leaf has invested in state-of-the-art camera technology to enable a seamless in-class/online learning experience. 

Key Details

This course is offered in conjunction with


TBA Q2, 2024
8 a.m. Mountain (10 a.m. Eastern) start
Early bird registration deadline: TBA
Calgary & ONLINE
Instructor — Bruce Peachey
Calgary Venue address:  PTAC
4th floor, 500 5 Ave. SW
Venue: $1795  Venue Early bird: $1695
Online: $1695  Online Early bird: $1595
Course Level: Beginner/Introductory
Personal Development Hours (PDH): 16

Coffee, snacks, lunch & refreshments served both days
Free parking at venue


Oil Sands Course Outline

  1. Introduction
  2. Basic Concepts
  3. Oil Sands Industry Overview
  4. The Resource Base
  5. Exploration & Drilling
  6. In Situ Bitumen Recovery
  7. Bitumen Mining & Extraction
  8. Oil Sands Upgrading
  9. Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCS or CCUS)
  10. Transportation Options for Oil Sands
  11. Oil Sands Markets at Home & Abroad
  12. Oil Sands Market Fundamentals
  13. Ever-Changing Oil Sands Regulation & Policy
  14. Oil Sands Industry Economics & Outlook
  15. Issues Confronting the Oil Sands Industry; Conclusions

Oil Sands Course Key Learning Objectives

  • To understand important oil sands industry terms & concepts
  • To gain practical knowledge of the oil sands value chain, from exploration to refined product usage, and everything in between
  • To focus on the mining and in-situ production technologies specific to the oil sands
  • To understand the upgrading process for oil sands crude
  • To learn the various, special transportation methods that move the world’s heaviest hydrocarbons
  • To analyze today’s oil sands markets, economic effects, and future trends, including CCUS
  • To grasp the geopolitical, environmental, regulatory, and other issues confronting the oil sands

Oil Sands Course Support Materials & Assessment

Who Should Attend the oil sands course?

  • People new to the oil sands wishing to decipher the industry & understand their role within it
  • Professionals already involved in the oil sands looking for more comprehensive knowledge
  • Regulators
  • Government Agencies
  • Investment Firms
  • Consulting Groups
  • Energy Companies, including E & P, Midstream, and Downstream

Oil Sands Course Testimonials

“Great background for my job & personal curiosity. Instructor was the best part of the course. He was very knowledgeable & engaging.”
Graham Environmental Coordinator/Specialist
“The specificity was helpful (companies, projects etc.), will help for future reference. Discussions were nice as well, conversations helped to think about issues etc.”
Richard Financial Regulatory Analyst
“Excellent, knowledgeable instruction. Good pace. Videos were good just to break things up.”
Tyler External Relations Manager
“The course was very informative, it covered all aspects of the industry. I liked that it was a small group because it allowed greater interaction.”



Oak Leaf Energy Training offers oil & gas training courses and renewable energy courses across Canada –
Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Regina, Vancouver, Toronto, and ONLINE.