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Crude oil and natural gas: Supply and disposition, April 2018

Released: 2018-07-10

Canada produced 20.3 million cubic metres (127.5 million barrels) of crude oil and equivalent products in April, up 12.5% from the same month a year ago.

Crude oil production up from low levels in April 2017 

With the exception of heavy crude oil (-4.9%), production of all types of crude oil was up compared with April 2017.

Non-upgraded crude bitumen production increased 13.7% to 8.4 million cubic metres in April. Non-upgraded crude bitumen production consisted of mined crude bitumen (+17.0%), plus in-situ crude bitumen (+10.1%), minus crude bitumen sent for further processing (+11.5%).

Production of synthetic crude oil was 13.6% higher compared with April 2017, when output was affected by an explosion at an upgrader facility in Alberta.

Over the same period, production of light and medium crude oil was up 15.5%, while the production of equivalent products (+18.9%) continued on an upward trend.

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

Crude oil extraction and oil sands extraction

Crude oil production (excluding equivalent products) totalled 18.6 million cubic metres in April, up 11.9% from the same month a year earlier. Despite the increase, crude oil production in April was at its lowest level since September 2017. Historically, spring is an intensive maintenance period for oil production and processing facilities.

Oil sands extraction, which consists of non-upgraded crude bitumen and synthetic crude oil, increased 13.7% year over year to 12.4 million cubic metres. Extraction of light, medium and heavy crude oils rose 8.6% to 6.2 million cubic metres.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Crude oil and oil sands extraction
Crude oil and oil sands extraction

Provincial production

Alberta produced 16.1 million cubic metres of crude oil and equivalent products in April, up 13.9% from the same month a year earlier. Alberta (79.6%), Saskatchewan (11.7%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (6.0%) accounted for the vast majority of Canadian production of crude oil and equivalent products.

Exports and imports

Exports of crude oil and equivalent products were up 10.3% to 17.9 million cubic metres in April, comparable to the record level set in March 2018. Exports to the United States by pipelines rose 5.3%, while exports to the United States by other means and exports to other countries were also up for the month.

Imports of crude oil to refineries were down 15.3% to 2.5 million cubic metres, marking the fourth consecutive year-over-year decrease.

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

Closing inventories

Closing inventories of crude oil and equivalent products totalled 19.2 million cubic metres in April, up 8.2% from the same month a year earlier. A drop in inventories held at refineries (-10.7%) partially offset higher inventory levels held by transporters (+13.9%) and fields and plants (+9.8%).

Natural gas increases in April

Canadian marketable natural gas production totalled 14.4 billion cubic metres in April, up 5.8% year over year. Production of natural gas was concentrated in Alberta (69.2%) and British Columbia (28.6%).

Additional information on natural gas is available in "Natural gas transmission, storage and distribution," published in The Daily on June 25, 2018.

  Note to readers

As of the April 2018 reference month, data in table 25-10-0063 are now available from January 2016. Additionally, data from March 2016 to March 2018 have been revised.

Data on crude oil and equivalent products, previously found in table 25-10-0014, are now published in table 25-10-0063. While table 25-10-0014 will remain available for reference, users should exercise caution when comparing data with those of the new 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 table 25-10-0063.

As of the January 2018 reference month, in accordance with the North American Industrial Classification System 2017 update, conventional crude oil will be referred to as crude oil extraction, while non-conventional crude oil will be referred to as oil sands extraction.

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 respondents' data.

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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