Top Canadian Oil Stocks

This Page's Content Was Last Updated: October 17, 2022
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What You Should Know

  • Upstream oil companies get the oil out of the ground, middle stream companies transport and store crude oil, and downstream companies refine crude oil and sell oil products.
  • Upstream oil companies are highly exposed to the oil price; they are cyclical and risky.
  • Midstream and downstream oil companies are far less exposed to the oil price.
  • Investing upstream can provide high-risk, high-reward opportunities.
  • Middle stream and downstream oil companies provide a more dependable income stream.

List of Top Canadian Oil and Gas Stocks

CompanyTickerMarket cap ($B)P/EP/B
PPL, PBA$26.2B18.41.79

Data from as of 13 September 2022.

CompanyTickerTotal annual return
PPL, PBA299.610.5

Data from as of 13 September 2022.

If you are looking to buy stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange, you will encounter Canadian oil stocks, as they are an important component of Canada’s main index, the S&P/TSX Composite. You are also likely to encounter Canadian oil stocks as components of a Canadian ETF you are holding or as components of a Canadian mutual fund in which you have invested.

Oil stock prices and their revenue are cyclical. A bull market in oil stocks is often the result of a bull market in crude oil prices, and a bear market in oil stocks is the result of a bear market in crude oil. A bull market refers to a situation when prices increase, while a bear market refers to a situation when prices decrease.

Companies with good corporate management, cost management, strong balance sheet and some diversification would ride through the bull and bear markets. Companies which lack these qualities are likely to go out of business or dilute their shareholders during a bear market.

The oil and gas industry is often divided into three segments.

  • The upstream segment includes discovering and developing oil and gas reserves and extracting oil and gas.
  • The middle stream provides transportation and storage of crude oil and natural gas,
  • while downstream includes refining oil and distribution of oil products and natural gas.

A company active in two or three streams is considered an integrated oil company. Western Canadian Select (WCS) is Canada's largest and most famous stream of oil. The Western Canadian Select price often determines upstream Canadian oil companies' sale prices.

XEG (iShares S&P TSX Capped Energy Index ETF), ZEO (BMO S&P TSX Eql Weight Oil Gas Index ETF), and HXE (Horizons S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index ETF) are examples of ETFs you can use to invest in and follow Canadian oil stocks. S&P/TSX capped energy index is composed of 28 energy companies which are present in the S&P/TSX Composite index and has ticker symbol SPTTEN.

Enbridge Inc.

Enbridge Inc

Enbridge Inc logo
ExchangeTSX, NYSE
IndicesS&P/TSX Composite, S&P/TSX 60
Ticker SymbolENB
Main businessStorage and transportation of oil and natural gas
Forward dividend yield6.17%
Trailing dividend yield6.13%
Trailing annual revenue$52.3 B
Data from as of 13 September 2022.

Enbridge stock is the third largest component in the S&P/TSX Composite index, with a weight of 3.6% as of August 25, 2022. On September 11, Enbridge's stock price was $54.5. Enbridge is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. It owns and operates an extensive network of pipelines throughout Canada and the US, transporting crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids.

Enbridge's crude oil pipeline extends about 27,500 kilometres, while its natural gas pipeline extends around 38,300 kilometres. Enbridge aims to become a net zero emitter of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and to that aim, have built several renewable energy projects. But even if Enbridge reduces its emissions to zero still, the nature of its business is empowering others to emit greenhouse gases.

Interprovincial Pipeline Company (IPL) was incorporated by Imperial Oil in 1949, shortly after the discovery of oil in Alberta. In 1953, IPL, whose pipeline extended from Alberta to Saskatchewan to Manitoba to Wisconsin and finally to New York state, was listed on the Toronto and Montreal stock exchanges. In 1986, IPL gained control of Home Oil, and in 1988 its name was changed to Interhome Energy Link.

In 1991, Interhome Energy Link changed its name to Interprovincial Pipeline Inc. In 1992, Interprovincial Pipeline System Inc. acquired Interprovincial Pipeline Inc and, after diversification into the gas distribution business, changed its name to IPL Energy Inc. In 1998, IPL Energy became Enbridge Inc; the new name is a portmanteau of energy and bridge.

Enbridge pipeline image

August 2021, Enbridge Line 3 Oil Pipeline construction site in Minnesota forest. Excavators and bulldozers are covering the installed pipe. Enbridge is building a new line 3 to retire its old line 3, which is corroded and caused a tragic and large oil spill a few years ago.

In 2006 the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project from the Athabasca basin to Kitimat, British Columbia, was announced. The Alberta Clippers Pipeline project from Hardisty, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin, was announced in 2006 and became operational in 2010. In 2009, Enbridge bought the Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant and expanded it to 80 MW.

Enbridge merged with Spectra Energy in 2017. Spectra Energy, a spin-off from Duke Energy, was a major gas pipeline owner and operator in the US. Enbridge is very actively expanding and optimizing the use of its pipeline network. Following is a partial list of Enbridge pipelines.

  • Line 1 is 1,767 km from the Edmonton terminal in Alberta to the Superior terminal in Wisconsin, with a capacity of 237,000 barrels/day.
  • Line 2A is 966 km from the Edmonton terminal in Alberta to the Cromer Terminal in Manitoba, with a 442,000 bbls/day capacity. Line 2B is 808 km from the Cromer terminal in Manitoba to the Superior terminal in Wisconsin, with a 442,000 bbls/day capacity.
  • Line 3 is 1,769 km from the Edmonton terminal to the Superior terminal, with a 390,000 bbls/day capacity.
  • Line 4 is 1,722 km from the Edmonton terminal to the Superior terminal, with a 390,000 bbls/day capacity.
  • Line 5 is 1,038 km from the Superior terminal to Sarnia, Ontario, with a 540,000 bbls/day capacity.
  • Alberta Clipper Pipeline is 1,790 km from Hardisty, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin carrying 800,000 bbl/day.

Canadian Natural Resources Limited

Canadian Natural Resources Limited

Canadian Natural Resources Limited logo
IndicesS&P/TSX Composite, S&P/TSX 60
Ticker SymbolCNQ
Main businessExtraction of oil and natural gas
Forward dividend yield4.11%
Trailing dividend yield3.5%
Trailing annual revenue$44.66 B
Data from as of 13 September 2022.

Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) is the 9th largest component in the S&P/TSX Composite index, with a weight of 2.6% as of August 25, 2022. On Sep 11, 2022 Canadian Natural Resources stock price was $72.

CNRL is Canada's largest independent producer of natural gas and heavy oil, with some offshore operations in the UK. CNRL owns and operates Horizon Oil Sands and Athabasca Oil Sands Projects (AOSP), both north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. CNRL also owns half of the North West Redwater Partnership.

Horizon Oil Sands is the company's largest operation, where oil sands are surface mined, their bitumen extracted and subsequently upgraded to synthetic crude oil.

AEX Minerals Corporation was established in 1973 and changed its name to Canadian Natural Resources Limited in 1975. In 2000, the company acquired Ranger Oil for $1.08 B. Two years later, CNRL bought Rio Alto for $2.4 B. In 2004, the company acquired Petrovera Resources, a joint venture between Encana and ConocoPhillips. Two years later, CNRL paid US$4.1 B for the Canadian operations of Anadarko Petroleum.

Suncor oil sands

Horizon oil sands project. On the top, we see the industrial installation, which extracts bitumen from oil sands. You see the areas where oil sands are surface mined on the bottom and left of the picture.

In 2014, conventional assets of Devon Energy in Canada were acquired by CNRL for $3.125 B. In 2017, the company acquired the oil sands assets of Royal Dutch Shell for $5.3 B and 97.6 million shares. Most prominent among these assets was a 70% interest in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project.

In 2018, CNRL bought the idled Joslyn oil sands project from Total S.A. In the same year, the company bought Laricina Energy for $46 million. This acquisition adds more than 5 billion barrels of recoverable bitumen to CNRL resources. In 2019, CNRL acquired the remaining Canadian assets of Devon Energy.

TC Energy Corporation

TC Energy Corporation

TC Energy Corporation logo
IndicesS&P/TSX Composite, S&P/TSX 60
Ticker SymbolTRP
Main businessTransporting natural gas and oil through pipeline
Forward dividend yield5.62%
Trailing dividend yield5.53%
Trailing annual revenue$13.96 B
Data from as of 13 September 2022.

TC Energy Corporation (TRP) is the 12th largest component in the S&P/TSX Composite index, with a weight of 2.1% as of August 25, 2022. On Sep 11, 2022, TC Energy's stock price was $72.

TC Energy Corporation is headquartered in TC Energy Tower in Calgary, Alberta. TC has three main business units:

  1. Natural Gas Pipelines,
  2. Liquids Pipelines, and
  3. Energy (electricity production).

TC has 93,000 km of gas pipeline, transporting a quarter of North America's gas demand. It has 535 billion cubic feet (BCF) of natural gas storage. TC also has 5,000 km of oil pipeline shipping 600k bbl/day of crude oil. The energy division wholly or partially owns 11 power plants with a total capacity of 6,600 megawatts.

The power plants include nuclear, natural gas and renewable power plants. TC’s US headquarters are in the TC Energy Center building in Houston, Texas. TC Energy is also the largest shareholder in TC PipeLines.

trans canadian pipeline map

This map taken from Canada’s Energy Regulator (CER) shows the path of the TransCanada pipeline. TransCanada is the most important gas pipeline in Canada’s energy history. It brought cheap energy to the main Canadian population centers.

Trans Canada Pipe Lines Limited was incorporated by parliament in 1951. The company's purpose was to supply the main Canadian population centres with natural gas produced in Western Canada. In 1998, NOVA Corporation’s pipeline business was merged with TransCanada Pipelines to create North America's 4th largest energy services corporation.

In 2016, TransCanada paid US$13 B for acquiring Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG) from American utility company NiSource. CPG acquisition handed Trans Canada the business of transferring the gas produced in Marcellus and Utica shale formations.

In 2019, TransCanada Corporation changed its name to TC Energy Corporation to reflect that its portfolio is not limited to pipelines and includes power generation and energy storage operations as well.

Suncor Energy Inc

Suncor Energy Inc

Suncor Energy Inc logo
ExchangeTSX, NYSE
IndicesS&P/TSX Composite, S&P/TSX 60
Ticker SymbolSU
Main businessIntegrated Oil & Gas Company
Forward dividend yield4.46%
Trailing dividend yield4.23%
Trailing annual revenue$52.77 B
Data from as of 13 September 2022.

Suncor Energy is the 9th largest component in the S&P/TSX Composite index, with a weight of 1.9% as of August 25, 2022. On Sep 11, 2022, Suncor stock price was $72. Suncor Energy is an integrated oil and gas company.

Sun Company of Canada was founded in Montreal in 1919 as a subsidiary of Sun Oil. In 1979, Sun Oil merged its Canadian refining and retail interest, Great Canadian Oil Sands and its conventional oil and gas interests in Canada. The resulting company was named Suncor. Great Canadian Oil Sands is the first commercial plant producing crude oil from Athabasca oil sands since 1967.

The government of Ontario bought a quarter of Suncor in 1981 and divested it in 1993. In 1995, Sun Oil shed its interest in Suncor while Suncor retained the Sunoco retail brand in Canada. In 2009, Suncor acquired PetroCanada to become Canada's second-largest public company.

In 2016, Suncor acquired Canadian Oil Sands for $6.6 B. This acquisition increased Suncor’s interest in the Syncrude project from 12% to 49%. Later Suncor bought Murphy Oil’s five percent interest in Syncrude for $937 million. In 2021, Suncor took over the operation of the Syncrude Joint Venture to improve its performance while having a 59% stake.

Suncor oil sands

Suncor’s oil sands upgrading plant near Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Suncor produces oil and natural gas in Western Canada, Colorado and Eastern Canada. It also has oil and gas projects in the North Sea, Libya, Syria and Trinidad & Tobago. Suncor operates a 135,000 bbl/day Strathcona refinery in Edmonton, an 85,000 bbl/day refinery in Sarnia, a 137,000 bbl/day refinery in Montreal, and a 98,000 bbl/day refinery in Commerce City, Colorado

Suncor is also one of the largest Canadian retailers of Petroleum products. Suncor owns a 27% interest in the Joslyn North Oil project.

Cenovus Energy Inc.

Cenovus Energy Inc.

Cenovus Energy Inc. logo
ExchangeTSX, NYSE
IndicesS&P/TSX Composite, S&P/TSX 60
Ticker SymbolCVE
Main businessIntegrated Oil & Gas Company
Forward dividend yield1.72%
Trailing dividend yield0.79%
Trailing annual revenue$66.31 B
Data from as of 13 September 2022.

In 2009, Encana Corporation, the largest Canadian energy company, split itself into two companies, Cenovus Energy and Ovintiv. Cenovus got the oil sands assets. In 2017, Cenovus Energy Inc. acquired most assets of ConocoPhillips in Alberta and British Columbia. Most important among these assets was a 50% stake in the Foster Creek Christina Lake (FCCL) oil sands project.

In 2020-21 Cenovus acquired Husky Energy for $3.9 B in stock. This transaction made Cenovus the third largest Canadian oil and gas producer and the second largest Canadian refiner.

Foster Creek, Christina Lake, Sunrise (joint venture with BP) and Tucker are oil sands producing assets of Cenovus. All these projects use steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). Cenovus is selling the Tucker oil sands project to Strathcona Resources for $800 million while buying 50% of the Sunrise oil sands project from BP.

Cenovus produces natural gas and liquids from the Deep Basin in northwestern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia. Cenovus owns the Lima refinery in Lima, Ohio, the Superior Refinery in Superior, Wisconsin and Lloydminster refinery and upgrader in Lloydminster, Alberta.

Cenovus owns half of the Wood River Refinery in Illinois and Borger refinery in Texas. Phillips 66 co-owns and operates these two refineries. Cenovus owns half of the Toledo refinery and is buying the other half from BP. It also holds the Bruderheim Energy Terminal, a crude by rail loading facility near Edmonton, Alberta.

Imperial Oil Limited

Imperial Oil Limited

Imperial Oil Limited logo
IndicesS&P/TSX Composite, S&P/TSX 60
Ticker SymbolIMO
Main businessIntegrated Oil & Gas Company
Forward dividend yield2.15%
Trailing dividend yield2.04%
Trailing annual revenue$50.36 B
Data from as of 13 September 2022.

Imperial Oil Limited is one of Canada’s largest integrated oil companies. 70% of Imperial Oil belongs to the American oil giant ExxonMobil. In addition to producing crude oil, diluted bitumen and natural gas, Imperial Oil is a major refiner and petrochemical producer. Imperial Oil also engages in supply and retail operations, including supply of Esso-brand service stations.

Imperial owns a quarter of the Syncrude project and has an oil sands mining joint venture with ExxonMobil called Kearl Oil Sands. Imperial also owns the Norman Wells oil field in the Northwest Territories.

Imperial Oil was founded in 1880 when 12 Canadian refiners combined their businesses. Over its first 15 years, Imperial had a tough time competing with cheaper and higher quality products exported by Standard Oil from the US to Canada. As a result, Imperial Oil was sold to Standard Oil and became a subsidiary of Standard Oil.

In 1911, the US Supreme Court ordered Standard Oil to break itself into 34 companies. All foreign subsidiaries of Standard Oil, including Canadian Imperial Oil, became part of Jersey Standard.

In 1946-7, Imperial Oil discovered and started drilling the Leduc Woodbend Devonian oil reef. In 1973, Imperial’s parent company changed its name to Exxon. In 1989, Imperial Oil acquired the Canadian Operations of Texaco. In 1999, Exxon and Mobil merged and formed ExxonMobil.

Imperial had acquired retail operations through its acquisition of Texaco Canada Incorporated. It has sold all its gas stations but supplies more than 2000 gas stations all over Canada. It licenses Esso and Mobil names for service stations.

Pembina Pipeline Corporation

Pembina Pipeline Corporation

Pembina Pipeline Corporation logo
ExchangeTSX, NYSE
IndicesS&P/TSX Composite, S&P/TSX 60
Ticker SymbolPPL, PBA
Main businessTransporting oil and natural gas
Forward dividend yield5.49%
Trailing dividend yield5.3%
Trailing annual revenue$10.84 B
Data from as of 13 September 2022.

Pembina was a private company for 37 years. In 1997, it was publicly listed through an IPO as a trust on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Pembina Pipeline Income Fund. In 2010, it became a corporation, Pembina Pipeline Corporation.

The Pembina pipeline was built to bring oil from the Pembina oil field to Edmonton. Pembina Pipeline Ltd acquired Peace Pipe Line Ltd in 1991. Five years later, it acquired half of the Bonnie Glen System, which is a 250 km network serving Alberta oil fields.

In 2000, Pembina bought Federated Pipelines Ltd for $340 million. In 2001, Pembina sold a salt cavern in Hardisty to Canadian Crude Separators. In the same year, Pembina took over Alberta Oil Sands Pipeline Ltd for $225 million. This transaction gave Pembina the main Syncrude pipeline.

In 2009, it acquired the Cutbank Complex from Talisman for $300 million. In 2012, Pembina purchased Provident Energy for $3.1 B in stock. In 2017, Pembina purchased natural gas transporter Veresen for $9.7 B. In 2019, Pembina bought Kinder Morgan Canada Limited, and a portion of the Cochin pipeline for $4.35 B.

Pembina has three segments:

  1. Conventional oil transportation,
  2. Oil sands and heavy oil transportation,
  3. Storage, logistics and marketing.

Tourmaline Oil Corp

Tourmaline Oil Corp

Tourmaline Oil Corp logo
IndicesS&P/TSX Composite
Ticker SymbolTOU
Main businessExtraction of Natural Gas
Forward dividend yield1.12%
Trailing dividend yield0.96%
Trailing annual revenue$7.4 B
Data from as of 13 September 2022.

Tourmaline Oil is an upstream oil and gas producer headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. Tourmaline is the largest Canadian natural gas producer.

Micheal Rose founded Berkley Petroleum in 1993 and sold it to Anadarko Petroleum for $1.5 B in 2001. He founded Duvernay Oil in 2001 and sold it to Shell Canada in 2008 for $5.9 B. Tourmaline was founded by Rose and his team in 2008 with an initial capital of $253 million. Tourmaline raised $228 million by going public in 2010.

Tourmaline grows by buying small producers and mineral rights and also by signing farm-out agreements. A farm-out agreement allows an oil company to gain an interest in a resource base by performing services, often drilling wells.

Tourmaline is mainly concentrated in the Alberta Basin, Montney Formation, and Peace River oil sands. In 2012, Tourmaline acquired Huron Energy Corp for $258 million and APL Oil & Gas for $84 million.

In 2014, Tourmaline purchased Deep Basin assets from Santonia Energy for $189 million. In the same year, the company sold a quarter of its Peace River assets to Canadian Non-Operated Resources for half a million dollars.

In 2016 Tourmaline bought $1.04 B worth of Shell-Canada non-core assets in Gundy and Deep Basin. Later, Tourmaline spun off Topaz Oil to private investors. In 2020, Tourmaline acquired Modern Resources and Jupiter Resources, respectively, for $144 million and $626 million.

Modern Resources brought assets in Deep Basin and a gas processing plant, while Jupiter Resources brought assets in the Deep Basin and partial ownership of two natural gas processing plants.

In 2021, Black Swan Energy and Saguaro Resources, both with assets in Montney Formation, were purchased for $869 million and $205 million, respectively. Tourmaline has an agreement with Cheniere Energy to ship gas for liquefaction at Cheniere’s Texas liquefaction plant.

Comparison with American producers

When It comes to upstream oil producers, American producers often have a significant advantage over their Canadian counterparts. As production in the US is usually very close to refineries, American producers often receive far better prices than Canadian producers.

Over the past two decades, Canadian producers have managed to substitute much of the heavy oil from Venezuela, Mexico and other oil-producing countries. But this has been done by giving significant discounts.

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