Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers: Shaping Canada's Energy Industry

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers: Shaping Canada's Energy Industry

4 Min.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers represents the interests of Canada's petroleum and natural gas companies. Founded in 1992, CAPP plays a crucial role in shaping policies related to the environment, regulations, and energy production. While supporting projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline and hydraulic fracturing, it faces opposition from environmental groups and indigenous communities.


The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) serves as the voice for Canada's petroleum and natural gas industry. As a formidable trade organization, it advocates for the interests of companies operating within these sectors throughout Canada. CAPP plays a pivotal role in influencing government policies, particularly in areas related to the environment, regulations, and the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas fields. It is essential to understand that the organization's members collectively contribute to a substantial portion of the country's energy production, accounting for approximately 80% of Canada's oil and natural gas output, which in turn generates a staggering $116 billion in annual revenue.

Historical Background of CAPP

The inception of CAPP dates back to 1992 when it was established through the merger of two significant predecessor organizations: the Independent Petroleum Association of Canada and the Canadian Petroleum Association. The roots of the Canadian Petroleum Association can be traced further to the Alberta Oil Operators' Association, founded in 1927. This rich history underscores CAPP's enduring commitment to fostering the growth of Canada's upstream oil and natural gas industry.

Structure and Expertise of CAPP

CAPP is structured into various policy groups, each dedicated to addressing specific regional interests and concerns within the petroleum and natural gas sectors. These policy groups encompass key areas such as the oil sands and offshore drilling. To facilitate its multifaceted mission, CAPP boasts a team of experts, including 70 economists, engineers, public relations professionals, political scientists, lawyers, and administrative staff. These professionals work tirelessly to ensure that the organization effectively represents the interests of the industry.

Moreover, CAPP operates under the oversight of a dedicated board, guided by the wisdom and experience of up to 78 volunteer governors. These governors are selected from the upper echelons of Canada's leading oil and natural gas companies. Their diverse expertise and leadership roles in these organizations contribute significantly to the influence and reach of CAPP's advocacy efforts.

Controversial Positions of CAPP

Support for the Keystone XL Pipeline

CAPP has been involved in controversy due to its positions that often conflict with environmental groups and Indigenous communities. One notable instance is its strong support for the Keystone XL Pipeline, which CAPP considers to be a crucial means of transporting bottlenecked Canadian oil to the market. CAPP argues that the project has the potential to generate jobs in Alberta and contribute billions of dollars to government revenue. However, this highly disputed pipeline project suffered a major setback when President Joe Biden revoked its permit through an executive order, leading TC Energy Corporation to halt the project.

The Keystone XL Pipeline project faced fierce opposition from Native American groups. These communities argued that the project, initiated during the Trump administration, disregarded tribal consultation, environmental review processes, and respect for treaty rights. The pipeline's route intersected with ancestral lands, raising concerns about its environmental impact and potential violations of Indigenous rights.

Advocacy for Hydraulic Fracturing

CAPP is also a staunch advocate for hydraulic fracturing, a process that involves the injection of pressurized chemicals and water into underground oil reserves, often situated near water tables and aquifers. CAPP contends that hydraulic fracturing can be executed without jeopardizing surface and groundwater resources. However, critics of this method point to numerous studies indicating that the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing can contaminate water sources, making them unsafe for human and animal consumption and hindering crop cultivation in affected areas. The debate surrounding hydraulic fracturing underscores the ongoing tensions between the oil and gas industry's interests, economic growth, and environmental and public health concerns.


The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers represents Canada's petroleum and natural gas companies. With a long history, CAPP influences government energy policies. However, its controversial stance on projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline and hydraulic fracturing has caused conflicts with environmental groups and Indigenous communities, highlighting the challenges faced by Canada's energy industry. CAPP's advocacy and ability to navigate these issues will continue to be debated and scrutinized.

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)
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