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

Released: 2018-08-13

Canada produced 21.8 million cubic metres (137.3 million barrels) of crude oil and equivalent products in May, up 13.5% from the same month a year earlier.

Production increases

Surpassing 9.0 million cubic metres for the first time, non-upgraded production of crude bitumen (+22.8%) was the main driver for the increase of total production in May. Non-upgraded crude bitumen production consisted of in-situ crude bitumen (+15.9%), plus mined crude bitumen (+17.4%), minus crude bitumen sent for further processing (+7.5%).

Growth in synthetic crude oil (+7.0%), equivalent products (+13.2%) and light and medium crude production (+12.2%) also contributed to the overall rise.

Meanwhile, May marked the ninth month in a row in which heavy crude oil production (-4.4%) declined year over year.

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

Oil sands extraction returns to near-capacity levels

Crude oil production (excluding equivalent products) totalled 20.2 million cubic metres in May, up 13.5% from the same month a year earlier.

Oil sands extraction, which consists of non-upgraded crude bitumen and synthetic crude oil, increased 16.9% year over year to 13.8 million cubic metres. Most of Alberta's oil sands extraction facilities returned to near-capacity production following intensive maintenance in April. Over the same period, extraction of light, medium and heavy crude oils rose 6.7% to 6.3 million cubic metres.

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

Provincial production

Alberta produced 17.7 million cubic metres of crude oil and equivalent products in May, up 15.9% from the same month a year earlier. For the first five months in 2018, Alberta averaged a 10.0% year-over-year growth.

Alberta (80.9%), Saskatchewan (10.7%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (5.9%) accounted for the vast majority of Canadian production of crude oil and equivalent products. Newfoundland and Labrador production exceeded 1.2 million cubic metres for the third consecutive month, with May recording the highest level since October 2011.

Record level of exports in May

Exports of crude oil and equivalent products were up 9.3% to 18.4 million cubic metres in May, surpassing the recent record of 17.9 million cubic metres set in March 2018. Total exports averaged 17.5 million cubic metres per month in the first five months of 2018, compared with 16.3 million cubic metres in the first five months of 2017.

Exports to the United States by pipelines rose 8.2%, while exports to other countries also increased. Exports to the United States by other means of transportation, including marine, rail and truck, were down 17.3% from May 2017.

Meanwhile, imports of crude oil to refineries (-19.9% to 2.7 million cubic metres) continued on a downward trend.

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 19.6 million cubic metres in May, up 16.5% from the same month a year earlier. The overall rise was largely attributable to an increase in inventories held by transporters (+18.8%), while inventories held at refineries and fields and plants were also up.

Natural gas increases in May

Canadian marketable natural gas production totalled 14.2 billion cubic metres in May, up 3.1% from the same month a year earlier. Production of natural gas was concentrated in Alberta (68.7%) and British Columbia (29.0%).

Additional information on natural gas is available in "Natural gas transmission, storage and distribution," published in The Daily on July 24, 2018.

  Note to readers

As of the April 2018 reference month, data in table 25-10-0063 are now available from January 2016.

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.

Data from January 2014 to April 2018 have been revised.

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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