What makes Canada's oil sands worth the trouble?

Alberta is the oil capital of Canada. Its proven oil reserves are around 170 billion barrels, which works out as roughly 13 percent of total global oil reserves.

The majority of these reserves are in oil sands in the northeast of Alberta, making the oil there difficult to get to, extract, process and transport. According to the Government of Alberta, its oil sands produce around 1.9 million barrels of oil every day, with 55 percent of Canada's crude production coming from oil sands.

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Just how important are the oil sands to the Canadian economy, and should investors be looking to companies that specialise in the region? "It's certainly the big powerful growth industry in Canada for the near future and has been for a long time," Jack Plunkett, CEO of Plunkett Research, Ltd., told CNBC's Energy Future.

"The global demand for oil is going to continue to be very strong, I think Canada is well positioned to continue that boom," Plunkett added.

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Canada may be well positioned, but maximizing its resources is dependent on continued and increased investment. With crude prices currently low, and Total and Statoil recently shelving oil sands projects in Canada this is under threat.

The current low oil price could also mean the Canada's oils sands are too expensive to extract. Carbon Tracker Initiative recently reported that those investing in Canadian oil sands could be at risk of wasting $271 billion of funding "on projects in the next decade that need high oil prices of more than $95 a barrel to give a decent return."

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Despite this outlook, oil producers in the region feel they are well-placed to survive. "I think a lot of people don't appreciate and understand what we've been able to do in the last few years, and the amount of technology and the evolution of where we're going," Drew Zieglgansberger, from Cenovus Energy, told CNBC.

"We still have a lot of value to uncover, and we have a lot of running room, even at depressed prices that I think will impact a lot of other people around the world before it will truly have a real impact here for us," he added.