1984: AOSTRA initiated Underground Test Facility, which pioneered steam-assisted, gravity-drainage (SAGD) to recover sub-surface bitumen.
1993: Suncor replaces troublesome bucket-wheel conveyors with massive trucks (pictured in September, 2001) to lower cost of moving bitumen. The trucks are the size of two-story houses and have become emblematic of the oil sands' vast scale.
1997: Production commences at the Hibernia project, Canada’s first offshore oil producer. Several other projects have followed and companies are now drilling in water depths of more than 2,000 metres.
1997- 2001: Mitchell Energy pioneers development of North America’s first major shale gas play, the Barnett in North Texas, through the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The shale gas boom revolutionizes North American gas markets and leads to exploration of British Columbia’s Montney and Horn River fields.
Jeff McIntosh/The Globe and Mail