Alaska and Alberta - An Overview

Alberta Population: 3 million. The capital Edmonton has 1 million people, and the energy and business center of Calgary has 1 million people, with 1 million more throughout the province. Alberta’s population is five times more than Alaska.

Alberta Size: 255,285 square miles (661,190 sq. km.) Less than half the size of Alaska.

Alberta Economy: Alberta is the energy capital of Canada, a major oil and gas producer, which supplies Canadian domestic needs and accounts for most of Canada’s oil and gas exports to the United States. Oil and gas production has spawned a major petrochemical industry as well as natural gas liquids production and other related industries. Alberta is the world’s 2nd largest exporter of natural gas and the 4th largest producer.

Alberta oil production averages 1.8 million barrels daily, compared to Alaska production of about 1 million barrels per day. Although energy is the backbone of the Alberta economy, the province is also a major producer and exporter of telecommunications technology and equipment, forest products, beef, wheat and industrial equipment and machinery. Alberta also has a big tourism industry. Proposed Alaska and Canadian arctic natural gas developments would likely send the gas to Alberta and then on to the Lower 48.

Alaska – Alberta Connections

  • Although there are no direct flights between Alaska and Alberta, Alaska/Horizon Airlines provides service via Seattle. Delta has flights via Salt Lake City. Other carriers that serve Alberta include Air Canada, Canada 3000 and Canadian North.
  • Although the official start of the Alaska Highway is Dawson Creek, B.C. (just west of the B.C.-Alberta border), Alberta offers one of the major highway access routes to travelers heading up the Alaska Highway.
  • There have been some proposals to extend the railroads in Alaska and Canada so they meet. The east-west Canadian Railroad passes through Edmonton and Jaspar, Alberta, where a branch line goes into northern British Columbia.

Government / Politics

  • Proposals to develop Alaska North Slope natural gas and build a pipeline from Alaska to Alberta have sparked a flurry of government visits and high-level discussions in Alberta, other Canadian provinces and in the United States to discuss energy issues. Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles has visited Alberta, accompanied by Cabinet members. He addressed the Arctic Gas Symposium in Calgary and met with Western Canada regional leaders. Gov. Knowles is planning another trip to Alberta for meetings with Premier Ralph Klein and signing an Alaska-Alberta agreement on cooperation.
  • Alaska legislative delegations have visited Alberta, also focusing on natural gas developments.
  • A U.S. Consulate located in Calgary covers Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. U.S. Consul General Roy Chavera recently visited Alaska to focus on energy issues and the proposed natural gas pipeline.
  • Alberta has a trade representative for the Pacific Northwest based in Portland, Oregon, focusing chiefly on agriculture and food products but also other economic sectors. The representative, Wes Sawatzky, has visited Alaska.

Natural Gas Projects

  • Alaska favors an Alaska Highway route for a proposed natural gas pipeline to deliver gas from Alaska to Alberta and on to the Lower 48. A separate project could deliver Canadian arctic gas from the MacKenzie Delta, NWT, to Alberta. Whatever route or routes are chosen, Alberta stands to gain as the likely terminus, with some gas then going on to U.S. points. Alaska officials have been lobbying in Canada and the U.S. for the Alaska Highway route.

Economy / Business / Trade / Tourism

  • Alaska and Alberta companies are eyeing each other’s regions for business, investment, and development opportunities created by the proposed Alaska Highway natural gas pipeline. Alberta Energy Company has recently expanded to become a partner with Alaska producers in North Slope ventures, and a number of Alaska companies are finding niches in Alberta, developing partnerships or establishing a presence.
  • Alberta and Alaska are partners, along with British Columbia and the Yukon Territory, in Tourism North, a joint tourism marketing campaign that promotes travel to the member regions. Alberta attracts a portion of the highway travelers to Alaska.

More Information

Alberta Overview

Alberta Government

Alberta International & Intergovernmental Relations. Covers Alberta’s relations with various countries, regions and states, including Alaska:

Links to Alberta Framework for International Strategies and Alberta business organizations:



| Back to Canada Home Page |