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

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Released: 2018-11-09

Canadian production of crude oil and equivalent products continued at a robust pace in August. Production totalled 23.6 million cubic metres (148.6 million barrels), up 9.6% compared with the same month in 2017.

Production of crude bitumen sets record

Non-upgraded production of crude bitumen set a new high of 9.8 million cubic metres (+15.2%) in August and was the primary contributor to the overall increase. This was up from the previous record of 9.3 million cubic metres set in July. Non-upgraded crude bitumen production consisted of mined crude bitumen (+11.7%), plus in-situ crude bitumen (+2.1%), minus crude bitumen sent for further processing (-4.1%).

In August, for the second month in a row, synthetic crude oil production declined year over year (-3.9%). Light and medium crude oil rose 15.3%, while heavy crude oil edged up 0.2%. Meanwhile, production of equivalent products rose 28.6% to reach a record high 1.9 million cubic metres.

Over the first eight months of 2018, monthly production of crude oil and equivalent products averaged 21.7 million cubic metres, up 8.8% compared with the same period in 2017.

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

Oil sands extraction and oil extraction

Crude oil production (excluding equivalent products) totalled 21.7 million cubic metres in August, up 8.2% from the same month a year earlier.

Oil sands extraction, which consists of non-upgraded crude bitumen and synthetic crude oil, increased 7.4% from August 2017 to 15.4 million cubic metres. Over the same period, extraction of light, medium and heavy crude oils rose 10.0% to 6.3 million cubic metres.

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

Record production in Alberta

Alberta produced 19.5 million cubic metres of crude oil and equivalent products in August, up 9.9% from the same month a year earlier.

Alberta (82.6%), Saskatchewan (10.3%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (4.7%) accounted for the vast majority of Canadian production.

Exports and imports

Exports of crude oil and equivalent products were up 12.0% to 17.9 million cubic metres in August. Exports to the United States by pipelines rose 4.0%, to 15.3 million cubic metres.

Exports by other means, including rail, truck and marine continued to increase, and for the first eight months of 2018 were on average 40.1% higher per month than the same time period in 2017.

Imports of crude oil to refineries, which tend to be volatile, ended a seven month, year-over-year downward trend. Imports to refineries rose 51.7% to 3.3 million cubic metres from the previous August.

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 20.0 million cubic metres in August, up 15.5% from the same month in 2017. Increases in inventories held by transporters (+12.7%), fields and plants (+18.0%) and refineries (+25.5%) all contributed to the highest closing inventory level of 2018 to date.

Natural gas production

Canadian marketable natural gas production totalled 14.4 billion cubic metres in August, up 6.4% from a year earlier. Production of natural gas was concentrated in Alberta (69.6%) and British Columbia (28.2%).

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

  Note to readers

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 Industry 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 July 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; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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