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Supply and disposition of refined petroleum products, April 2017

Released: 2017-07-14

Refinery receipts down

Canadian refineries received 7.6 million cubic metres of crude oil in April, down 1.1% from the same month in 2016.

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

Domestic crude oil receipts rose by 0.4% from April 2016 to 4.7 million cubic metres.

Crude oil imports decreased 3.4% from April 2016 to 2.9 million cubic metres. Imports represented 38.6% of total crude oil received at refineries in Canada.

Crude oil inventories held at refineries totalled 3.7 million cubic metres in April, down 4.5% from the same month in 2016.

Crude oil used in refinery production increases

Total crude oil and equivalent products used in refinery production increased 1.5% from April 2016 to 8.0 million cubic metres. Refineries used more crude bitumen (+13.7%), synthetic crude oil (+2.5%), and conventional light crude oil (+0.6%), while they used less conventional heavy crude oil (-3.2%).

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

Refinery production and sales fall

Refinery production decreased 0.8% from April 2016 to 9.1 million cubic metres.

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 fell 2.6% to 8.1 million cubic metres. Sales of diesel fuel oil (-9.9%) and motor gasoline (-2.2%) were both down compared with April 2016.

Imports and exports up

Canada imported 1.1 million cubic metres of refined petroleum products in April, up 18.3% from the same month in 2016.

During the same period, exports of refined petroleum products increased 8.4% to 2.3 million cubic metres.

Inventories increase

Closing inventories of refined petroleum products held at refineries increased 2.1% year over year to 7.9 million cubic metres in April.

Telling Canada's story in numbers; #ByTheNumbers

In celebration of the country's 150th birthday, Statistics Canada is presenting snapshots from our rich statistical history.

With the discovery of crude oil in Southern Ontario in the middle of the 19th century, Canada was among the world's first countries to develop an oil refining industry. The early refineries were simple operations where crude oil was heated to produce primarily lamp oil (kerosene). Other products such as lubricants, waxes and asphalt were also manufactured and sold, while gasoline was often discarded as waste.

The development of the internal combustion engine in the late 19th century transformed not only transportation, but also the oil refining industry. Motor gasoline, diesel and aviation fuels became the main products manufactured by refineries and used as fuels for transportation, agriculture, construction and other industries.

Over the years, production and sales of refined petroleum products continued to increase. In 1956, over 38 million cubic metres of refined petroleum products were sold in Canada. By 2016, the volume increased to over 105 million cubic metres, with motor gasoline, diesel and aviation turbo fuel accounting for almost 80% of total sales.

There was also some consolidation in the refining industry over this period, falling from 43 refineries in 1956 to 17 in 2016. Currently, refined petroleum products are distributed by a vast network of pipelines, transportation systems and service stations across the country.


  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.

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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