VANCOUVER, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Canada will soon become one of the world's largest exporters of energy products and gain significant economic benefits from it, according to a study released Thursday.
The research, conducted by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank, said Canada was not striving to be an energy superpower but that was clearly where it was headed.
The study found Canada currently ranks sixth in the world in oil production, just behind Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United States, China, and Iran. But, with planned new investment in oil sands fields and shale formations, Canada could become the fourth or even third in the world.
It said Canada was the fifth largest exporter of oil, natural gas, oil products, and electricity combined in 2009, behind Russia, Saudi Arabia, Norway, and Iran.
"Because Canada is energy self-sufficient, most of the increase in oil, gas, uranium and hydroelectric production will be exported. Consequently, Canada is bound to soon be one of the world's largest exporters of energy commodities," the study concluded.
Kenneth P. Green, co-author of the study, said Canada's energy sector already made an enormous contribution to the economy in addition to creating jobs and government revenues through royalty payments.
The study said oil and natural gas extraction contributed 94 billion Canadian dollars (92 billion U.S. dollars) to GDP in 2011, and electric utilities contributed 33 billion dollars (32 billion dollars).
It also estimated the energy sector provided at least 663,000 jobs, or 4.5 percent of total payroll employment in 2012.
On the revenue side, Canada's energy producers contributed at least 19 billion dollars to provincial and territorial governments in the form of royalties, lease payments, and fees.
"These payments will only become greater as petroleum and uranium production increases and new hydroelectric facilities are built," Green said.