​Alberta's Unconventional Resources

Unconventional and conventional resources are essentially the same. The difference is the types of rock that they are found in and the methods used to develop them.

Unconventional oil and natural gas do not flow naturally through rock, making them much more difficult to produce. One way to understand this is to think of the difference between a sponge and a piece of clay; it is easy to squeeze water out of a saturated sponge – that’s conventional oil and natural gas. Squeezing water out of saturated clay is harder – kind of like unconventional oil and natural gas.

​In a more technical sense, it means that unconventional rocks have very low porosity and permeability compared to conventional rock. Porosity refers to the open spaces within the rock to hold fluids while permeability refers to how easily the fluid can flow through the rock.

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) is responsible for managing Alberta's energy resources including unconventional resources.
AER links;