Canadian Natural Resources

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Canadian Natural Resources Limited
Public company
Traded asTSXCNQ
S&P/TSX 60 component
IndustryOil and gas
FoundedCalgary, Alberta (1973)
HeadquartersCalgary, Alberta
Key people
Tim S. Mckay (President)
Steve Laut (Executive Vice Chairman)
Murray Edwards (Chairman)
Revenue$17.945 billion CAD (2013, before royalties)[1]
Number of employees
10,029 (June 2017)

Canadian Natural Resources Limited, or CNRL or Canadian Natural, is a Canadian oil and gas exploration, development and production company, with its corporate head office in Calgary, Alberta. Along with its core area Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB),[2] CNRL also has North Sea and offshore West Africa fields. By 2011, with a production of 121,000 barrels (19,200 m3), CNRL was Canada's largest oil company and Canada's "single biggest conventional heavy oil producer".[3] By 2009 CNRL ranked number 251 on the Forbes Global 2000 list.[4]

CNRL is one of the largest independent crude oil and natural gas producers in the world, with its head office in Calgary, and operations focused in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin,[notes 1][2] the North Sea and offshore West Africa.


With headquarters located in Calgary, Alberta, the company operates field offices in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, as well as international offices in Gabon, Côte d'Ivoire and Aberdeen, Scotland.

According to the company it has the largest undeveloped base in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin: it is the largest independent producer of natural gas in Western Canada and the largest producer of heavy crude oil in Canada.[5]

Canadian Natural's largest operation is the Horizon Oil Sands project which is located 75 kilometres (47 mi) north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. The Horizon Oil Sands include a surface oil sands mining and bitumen extraction plant, complimented by on-site bitumen upgrading with associated infrastructure. Canadian Natural's sanctioned the Horizon Oil Sands Project in February 2005 and it produced its first barrels of synthetic crude oil in early 2009.[6]

International operations concentrates in the United Kingdom portion of the North Sea and in offshore Africa. In the North Sea, it focuses on managing existing infrastructure. In offshore Africa, the company operates in Côté d'Ivoire and Gabon.[7]


In 1988, Canadian Natural was heavily in debt due to a combination of excessive leverage in late 1970s and early 1980s, and the collapse of oil prices in 1986. It was forced into a restructuring that saw the majority of its geographically scattered assets sold. It employed 9 people, produced about 1,400 barrels (220 m3) of oil equivalent per day and had a market capitalization of about $1 million. Through growth and acquisitions, it has grown to approximately 8000 employees, production of over 817,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and a market capitalization of approximately $45 billion.[8]


In late November 2014, a CNRL pipeline spilled almost 60,000 liters of crude oil into a muskeg region in northern Alberta, located roughly 27 kilometers from Red Earth Creek.[9] 2014 was a poor safety year for CNRL.[10]

Recent news[edit]

In November 2015, the firm announced it would sell most of its royalty assets to PrairieSky Royalty Ltd for around $1.8 billion.[11]

In March, 2017, Canadian Natural Resources announced plans to spend C$12.74 billion in cash and shares in a deal to acquire the bulk of Royal Dutch Shell's oilsands holdings and half of Marathon Oil's minority stake in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project in Alberta.[12]


Canadian Natural's common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CNQ and under the Toronto Stock Exchange as CNQ and CNQ.U which denotes trading in US funds.

Corporate governance[edit]

Canadian Natural is a limited liability, publicly traded corporation. Current members of the board of directors are: Catherine M. Best, N. Murray Edwards, Honourable Gary A. Filmon, Ambassador Gordon D. Giffin, John G. Langille, Steve W. Laut, Keith A.J. MacPhail, Honourable Frank J. McKenna, James S. Palmer, Eldon R. Smith and David A. Tuer.


  1. ^ Of the provinces and territories within the WCSB, Alberta has most of the oil and gas reserves and almost all of the oil sands.


  1. ^ CNRL 2013b.
  2. ^ a b CNRL 2013b, p. 1.
  3. ^ McKenzie-Brown 2011.
  4. ^ Forbes 2009.
  5. ^ CNRL 2014a.
  6. ^ "Canadian Natural Resources - Horizon Oil Sands". Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Canadian Natural Resources - International". Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  8. ^ CNRL 2014.
  9. ^ Staff (1 December 2014). "Alberta pipeline spills 60,000 litres of crude oil into muskeg". Global News. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  10. ^ Anna Mehler Papernyand Leslie Young (2 December 2014). "Alberta oil spill: Examining CNRL's safety record". Global News. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Canadian Natural to sell royalty assets to PrairieSky for C$1.8 billion". Reuters. 9 November 2015.
  12. ^ "CNRL buying Shell, Marathon oilsands holdings for $12.74 billion". Fort McMurray Today. 9 March 2017.


External links[edit]