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Supply and disposition of refined petroleum products, December 2016

Released: 2017-03-14

Refinery production

9.7 million cubic metres

December 2016

3.5% increase

(12-month change)

Refinery receipts decrease

Canadian refineries received 7.8 million cubic metres of crude oil in December, down 2.0% from the same month in 2015.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Refinery receipts of crude oil and equivalent products
Refinery receipts of crude oil and equivalent products

Meanwhile, refinery receipts of domestic crude oil decreased 3.9% from December 2015 to 5.4 million cubic metres.

Crude oil imports increased 2.5% from December 2015 to 2.4 million cubic metres. Imports represented 31.2% of total crude oil received at refineries in Canada.

Crude oil inventories held at refineries totalled 3.9 million cubic metres in December, up 2.3% compared with the same month the previous year.

Crude oil used in refinery production

Total crude oil and equivalent products used in refinery production decreased 2.3% from December 2015 to 8.1 million cubic metres.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Crude oil used in refinery production
Crude oil used in refinery production

Year over year, this was the 12th consecutive month where the refinery use of conventional crude oil decreased and non-conventional crude increased. Both types of non-conventional crude oil increased, with synthetic up 49.3% and crude bitumen up 9.9%. Convention light crude oil used in refinery production was down 21.4%, while conventional heavy crude oil was up 12.3% compared with December 2015.

Refinery production and sales up

Refinery production rose 3.5% to 9.7 million cubic metres in December.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Domestic sales of refined petroleum products, by product
Domestic sales of refined petroleum products, by product

Domestic sales of refined petroleum products increased 5.1% to 8.9 million cubic metres. Sales of motor gasoline (+8.5%) and diesel (+6.8%) were up compared with December 2015.

Imports down and exports up

Canada imported 1.0 million cubic metres of refined petroleum products in December, down 10.6% from the same month in 2015.

Meanwhile, exports of refined petroleum products increased 13.5% to 2.3 million cubic metres.

Inventories decrease

Closing inventories of refined petroleum products held at refineries decreased 12.4% year over year to 7.2 million cubic metres in December.

2016 annual review

Non-conventional crude oil use increases

Refineries' use of non-conventional crude oil reached a record high in 2016. Year over year, the use of non-conventional crude oil increased every month to a total of 30.7 million cubic metres in 2016, up 37.8% over 2015. Higher production of non-conventional crude oil in Alberta and the Enbridge Line 9 reversal, which permitted more Western Canadian crude to reach the refineries in Ontario and Quebec, contributed to the gain.

Over this same period, refineries used 14.5% less conventional crude oil.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Annual refinery receipts of crude oil and equivalent
Annual refinery receipts of crude oil and equivalent

Refinery receipts decrease

Canadian refineries received 93.0 million cubic metres of crude oil in 2016, down 2.5% from 2015.

Refinery receipts of domestic crude oil decreased 5.0% compared with 2015 to 59.2 million cubic metres. Meanwhile, crude oil imports increased 2.3% from 2015 to 33.8 million cubic metres. Imports represented 36.3% of total crude oil received at refineries in Canada, up from 34.7% in 2015.

Chart 5  Chart 5: Key supply and disposition variables
Key supply and disposition variables

Refinery production and sales up

Refinery production increased 1.6% from 2015 to 109.0 million cubic metres in 2016, while domestic sales rose 1.2% to 105.4 million cubic metres.

Imports up and exports down

Canada imported 14.1 million cubic metres of refined petroleum products in 2016, up 8.5% from 2015. Meanwhile, Canadian exports of refined petroleum products declined 6.4% to 25.1 million cubic metres.


  Note to readers

The Monthly Refined Petroleum Products survey collects data on the activities of every Canadian refinery involved in the production of refined petroleum products (North American Industry Classification System [NAICS] 324000) and of selected major distributors of these products (NAICS 412000).

Domestic sales include all sales by reporting companies, excluding exports and sales to other reporting companies.

Refinery receipts of crude oil and equivalent hydrocarbons (condensates and pentanes plus) from domestic and foreign sources are for refinery consumption or storage.

Previously, Enbridge's Line 9 pumped up to 240,000 barrels per day (bpd) of imported crude westward from Québec to Sarnia, Ontario. After a shutdown in December of 2015, flow was reversed allowing up to 300,000 bpd to be pumped eastward from Sarnia to refineries in Ontario and Quebec.

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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