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Oil Pipeline Transport Survey, 2017

Released: 2019-02-18

Operating revenues of Canadian oil pipeline companies rose 8.3% to $10.2 billion in 2017, while total operating expenses increased 10.8% to $5.9 billion. As a result, net revenue from operations was $4.3 billion, up 5.0% from the previous year, leading to a net income after taxes of $2.2 billion (+0.8%).

Pipeline activity increases

Higher commodity prices and increased crude oil production were contributing factors to greater pipeline activity in 2017. According to Statistics Canada's Raw Materials Price Index, the annual average price of crude oil and crude bitumen increased by 19.4% in 2017. Meanwhile pipeline activity, measured in cubic metre kilometres, was up 4.6%.

Pipelines were the primary method of transportation for Canadian oil to international destinations. In 2017, 173.1 million cubic metres of crude oil was exported to the United States via pipeline, up 5.4% from the previous year. This represented 71.0% of total Canadian crude oil produced in this period.

Balance sheet: Assets increase

Pipeline companies reported total assets of $60.4 billion in 2017, up 3.9% from 2016. Net fixed assets rose 3.2% to $43.6 billion, while current assets increased 12.3% to $4.3 billion. Meanwhile, total investment was up 4.1% to $10.7 billion.

Total liabilities, capital stock and surplus increased 3.9% from 2016 to $60.4 billion in 2017. Combined, current liabilities and long-term debt increased 4.4% to $29.9 billion, representing 49.6% of total liabilities. Meanwhile, capital stock and surplus rose 2.3% to $28.1 billion.

  Note to readers

The Oil Pipeline Transport Survey is a census that collects data on the financial, employment and operating activities of gathering pipelines and transmission pipelines operating in Canada.

Gathering pipelines are regional systems that collect oil from fields and plants and deliver these amounts to terminals and processing facilities including refineries.

Trunk lines collect oil from terminals and deliver it to destinations, sometimes thousands of kilometres away.

The gathering pipelines in Canada are concentrated in major oil producing regions, i.e. Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Canadian transmission pipelines deliver oil from the producing regions to major markets, primarily the United States and Eastern Canada.

Data for 2016 have been revised.

Data referenced in this release are from tables 18-10-0034-01 and 25-10-0063-01.

Data are available upon request.

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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