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Crude oil and natural gas: Supply and disposition, December 2016

Released: 2017-03-09

Canada produced 20.5 million cubic metres (129.1 million barrels) of crude oil and equivalent products in December, up 1.5% compared with the same month in 2015.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Production of crude oil and equivalent products
Production of crude oil and equivalent products

Synthetic crude continues to drive the increase

In December, the increase in the production of crude oil and equivalent products was primarily attributable to synthetic crude (up 10.4% to 5.5 million cubic metres) and, to a lesser extent, non-upgraded crude bitumen (up 1.0% to 7.7 million cubic metres). Meanwhile, light and medium crude oil (down 6.7% to 3.9 million cubic metres) and heavy crude oil (down 3.0% to 2.0 million cubic metres) continued to decline.

Non-upgraded crude bitumen production consisted of mined crude bitumen (6.4 million cubic metres), plus in situ crude bitumen (7.6 million cubic metres), minus crude bitumen sent for further processing (6.3 million cubic metres).

Chart 2  Chart 2: Production of crude oil and equivalent products by type of product
Production of crude oil and equivalent products by type of product

Production of non-conventional crude oil continues to rise

In December, crude oil production (excluding equivalent products) totalled 19.1 million cubic metres. Non-conventional crude oil production, which consisted of non-upgraded crude bitumen and synthetic crude oil, increased 4.8% to 13.2 million cubic metres.

Meanwhile, conventional crude production of light, medium and heavy crude oils continued to decline, down 5.5% compared with the same month in 2015 to 5.9 million cubic metres.

Provincial production

Alberta produced 16.5 million cubic metres of crude oil and equivalent products, up 1.8% from December 2015. Alberta accounted for 80.3% of Canada's total production. In the same month, Saskatchewan produced 2.4 million cubic metres, or 11.5% of the total, while Newfoundland and Labrador, at 1.2 million cubic metres, constituted 5.6% of total Canadian production.

Exports and imports

Exports of crude oil and equivalent products continued to rise in December, up 6.8% from the same month in 2015 to 16.8 million cubic metres. The vast majority of production (89.4%) was exported via pipelines, while other means such as rail, truck and marine transportation, accounted for the remaining 10.6%. Over the same period, imports to Canadian refineries increased 2.5% to 2.4 million cubic metres.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Exports and imports of crude oil and equivalent products
Exports and imports of crude oil and equivalent products

Inventories

Closing inventories of crude oil and equivalent products reached 19.1 million cubic metres in December. The total was split between closing inventories held by pipelines and terminals (12.3 million cubic metres), those from fields and plants (2.9 million cubic metres) and those the inventories held at refineries (3.9 million cubic metres).

Natural gas

Canadian production of marketable natural gas totalled 14.1 billion cubic metres in December.

Additional information on natural gas is available in "Natural gas transmission, storage and distribution," published in The Daily on February 23, 2017.

2016 annual review

In 2016, production of crude oil and equivalent products increased 0.5% from 2015 to 225.3 million cubic metres. The Fort McMurray wild fire and evacuation, and scheduled maintenance that took place in May and June, forced the temporary reduction in output for most of the oil sands operations.

The overall increase was driven by non-upgraded crude bitumen production (+7.0%) and equivalent products (+18.3%). The share of non-conventional crude oil (crude bitumen plus synthetic crude) in total production rose from 61.4% in 2015 to 62.4% in 2016. The share of equivalent products increased from 5.9% to 6.9%. Meanwhile, light, medium, and heavy crude oils represented 30.6% of total production, down from 32.7% in 2015.

Since 2012, the production of crude oil and equivalent products has risen by 19.1%. The main contributor was crude bitumen, which rose 66.2%, while conventional production of light, medium, and heavy crude oils decreased 9.4% over the last five years.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Production of conventional and non-conventional crude oil and equivalent products
Production of conventional and non-conventional crude oil and equivalent products

Both exports and imports of crude oil and equivalent products rose in 2016. Exports were up 2.9% to 180.9 million cubic metres, while imports by Canadian refineries rose 2.2% to 33.8 million cubic metres. Just over 80% of Canadian production was exported in 2016, compared with 73.6% in 2012.

Canadian natural gas utilities received 159.8 billion cubic metres of total marketable gas in 2016. During the same period, exports of natural gas from Canada to the United States totalled 82.0 billion cubic metres, while imports reached 20.6 billion cubic metres.

  Note to readers

As of the March 2016 reference month, content and methodology changes were made to the Monthly Oil and Other Liquid Petroleum Products Pipeline Survey. For more information, consult the Monthly Oil and Other Liquid Petroleum Products Pipeline Survey.

Data on crude oil and equivalent products, previously found in CANSIM table 126-0001, are now published in CANSIM table 126-0003. While CANSIM table 126-0001 will remain available for reference, users should exercise caution when comparing data with those of the new CANSIM table.

Information on the disposition of crude oil and equivalent products to refineries by province and on exports to the United States by district were discontinued. New data on imports, exports, input to Canadian refineries and inventories were added to CANSIM table 126-0003.

Data are subject to revision.

Crude oil and equivalent products include heavy, light and medium crude oil, synthetic crude oil, crude bitumen, condensate, and pentanes plus.

Export data are a combination of National Energy Board data and survey data reported by respondents.

Import data include imports of crude oil by refineries and by others.

Total marketable gas includes receipts from fields, gas gathering systems and/or gas plants.

The crude oil and natural gas supply and disposition program uses respondent data as well as administrative data provided by federal, provincial and territorial authorities with regulatory responsibilities within their respective jurisdictions.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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