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Energy statistics, April 2019

Released: 2019-07-05

In April, production of crude oil and equivalent products (+10.4%), natural gas (+2.5%) and electricity (+1.0%) increased, while coal production (-10.0%) declined compared with the same month in 2018. Over the same period, exports of crude oil and equivalent products increased (+0.3%), while exports of natural gas (-14.3%) and electricity (-7.9%) decreased.

For more information on energy in Canada, please visit the Canadian Energy Information Portal.

Crude oil and equivalent products

Production of crude oil and equivalent products rose 10.4% to 22.3 million cubic metres (140.3 million barrels) in April compared with the same month a year earlier. The increase was primarily driven by oil sands activity, supported by the continued easing of production limits imposed by the Government of Alberta in January 2019.

Following three consecutive year-over-year monthly declines, production of crude bitumen increased 8.5% in April, surpassing 9.0 million cubic metres for the first time this year. Meanwhile, despite recording the lowest level in seven months (5.1 million cubic metres), production of synthetic crude oil rose 27.7% compared with April 2018 when widespread maintenance work limited the production at most upgrading facilities in Alberta.

Production of equivalent products (+12.6%), light and medium crude oil (+2.0%) and heavy crude oil (+0.1%) also contributed to the overall increase in April.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Production, exports and imports of crude oil and equivalent products
Production, exports and imports of crude oil and equivalent products

Alberta produced 18.1 million cubic metres of crude oil and equivalent products in April, up 12.4% from the same month a year earlier, and accounted for 81.2% of total Canadian production. Despite maintenance work and a fire at two different upgrading facilities in northern Alberta, the average provincial daily production of crude oil and equivalents continued to increase in April (603.9 thousand cubic metres per day) compared with the previous three months.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Alberta crude oil and equivalent average daily production by type of product
Alberta crude oil and equivalent average daily production by type of product

Saskatchewan (10.5% of total production) and Newfoundland and Labrador (5.6%) were also key producing provinces in April.

Pipelines in Canada received 19.3 million cubic metres of crude oil and equivalent products from fields and plants in April, down 1.9% compared with the same month in 2018. This was the fourth consecutive year-over-year monthly decrease, reflecting lower crude oil production levels in Alberta, where the majority of these receipts (85.1%) originated.

Over the same period, pipelines delivered 7.1 million cubic metres of crude oil to Canadian refineries and upgraders, up 13.8% from the same month a year earlier, with over 70% of the total volume delivered to refineries and upgraders in the Western provinces.

Total exports of crude oil and equivalent products increased 0.3% to 17.9 million cubic metres in April. Exports to the United States via pipelines increased 1.1% year over year to 15.4 million cubic metres. Overall, pipelines were the main mode of transport, accounting for 85.6% of total exports in April. Exports to the United States by other means (rail, truck and marine) increased 18.8% to 2.2 million cubic metres, while exports to other countries were down.

Compared with April 2018, imports of crude oil and equivalent products were down 5.4% to 3.5 million cubic metres. This was the second consecutive monthly year-over-year decline.

Refined petroleum products

In April, net production of motor gasoline (which consists of motor gasoline and blending components) totalled 3.2 million cubic metres, while net production of diesel fuel oil was 2.8 million cubic metres. Meanwhile, closing inventories held at refineries, terminals and upgraders amounted to 2.3 million cubic metres of motor gasoline and 1.9 million cubic metres of diesel fuel oil.

Natural gas

Canadian marketable natural gas production totalled 583.6 million gigajoules in April, up 2.5% from the same month a year earlier. Production of natural gas was overwhelmingly concentrated in Alberta (71.1%) and British Columbia (27.0%).

Over the same period, natural gas transmission and distribution systems delivered 313.0 million gigajoules to Canadian consumers. The majority (65.7%, or 205.5 million gigajoules) were delivered to industrial consumers, while the remainder went to residential consumers (59.3 million gigajoules) and commercial and institutional consumers (48.2 million gigajoules).

Deliveries of natural gas in Alberta totalled 162.1 million gigajoules in April. The majority (85.1%) was sent to the industrial sector, which accounted for 44.1% of all natural gas delivered in Canada.

Meanwhile, natural gas transmission and distribution systems delivered 80.2 million gigajoules in Ontario. Of this total, 32.8 million gigajoules were delivered to the residential sector, which accounted for 55.4% of deliveries to residential consumers in Canada.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Canadian monthly natural gas closing inventories
Canadian monthly natural gas closing inventories

Opening inventories of natural gas held in Canadian storage facilities stood at 533.8 million gigajoules in April. During the month, inventory increased 3.3% to close at 551.7 million gigajoules, following five consecutive months of withdrawals. Storage facilities tend to build inventories during the warmer months in preparation for greater demand in the winter.

Canadian exports of natural gas by pipeline to the United States declined 14.3% year over year to 231.9 million gigajoules in April.

Over the same period, imports of natural gas from the United States by pipeline totalled 93.5 million gigajoules, up 37.1% compared with April 2018, with most of the imports going to Ontario (88.5 million gigajoules).

Electricity

In April, electricity generation in Canada increased 1.0% to 50.5 million megawatt-hours (MWh) compared with the same month a year earlier. Renewable generation (including hydro, wind, solar, tidal and others) rose 1.5% to 33.9 million MWh, while electricity generated from combustible fuels increased 2.8%, to 10.0 million MWh. Meanwhile, nuclear generation decreased 3.8% to 6.7 million MWh.

By generation type, hydro was the largest contributor to Canada's electricity mix, producing 30.7 million MWh of electricity, up 0.7% from the previous year. Quebec generated more than half of total hydro-electricity in April (15.7 million MWh), while British Columbia (4.6 million MWh) and Newfoundland and Labrador (3.5 million MWh) were also major contributors.

Over the same period, Alberta (5.9 million MWh) and Saskatchewan (1.4 million MWh) were the main generators of electricity from combustible fuels. Meanwhile, the vast majority of nuclear electricity (98.9%) was generated in Ontario, with the remainder produced in New Brunswick.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Electricity generation
Electricity generation

In April, exports of electricity to the United States continued to decline, down 7.9% to 3.8 million MWh compared with the same month in 2018. Almost half of exports (1.9 million MWh) originated in Quebec, while Ontario (1.2 million MWh) was also a major exporter of electricity. Over the same period, imports of electricity from the United States decreased 1.1% to 1.5 million MWh, with most of the imports going to British Columbia (1.3 million MWh).

Chart 5  Chart 5: Exports and imports of electricity
Exports and imports of electricity

Coal and coke

Coal production was 4.0 million tonnes in April, down 10.0% compared with the same month a year earlier. Over the same period, coke production increased 7.3% to 209.4 thousand tonnes.

Chart 6  Chart 6: Coal production
Coal production

  Note to readers

As of reference month January 2019, Statistics Canada presents a new consolidated monthly release: Energy statistics. The survey programs which support the new release include:

  • Crude oil and natural gas, supply and disposition (survey number 2198, tables 25-10-0036-01, 25-10-0055-01 and 25-10-0063-01). Data from January to March 2019 have been revised.
  • Pipeline transportation of oil and other liquid petroleum products (survey number 2148, table 25-10-0056-01)
  • Supply and disposition of refined petroleum products (survey number 2150, table 25-10-0076-01). Data from January to March 2019 have been revised.
  • Natural gas transmission, storage and distribution (survey numbers 2149, 5210 and 5215, tables 25-10-0057-01, 25-10-0058-01 and 25-10-0059-01)
  • Electric power statistics (survey number 2151, tables 25-10-0015-01 and 25-10-0016-01). Data from March 2019 have been revised.
  • Coal and coke statistics (survey numbers 2147 and 2003, tables 25-10-0045-01 and 25-10-0046-01).

The tables associated with the above survey programs remain unchanged, although release dates for most tables have changed. Data in these tables are subject to revisions. Definitions, data sources and methods for each survey program remain available by accessing each survey's respective number.

As of reference month January 2019, the Monthly Refined Petroleum Products Survey has been redesigned. The questionnaire content has changed to reflect the evolving refined petroleum industry. Upgraders and petroleum terminals are now included in the survey frame. New variables have been added, while other variables have been discontinued. Due to the change in methodology, the current estimates may not be comparable with the estimates available prior to January 2019. Net production of refined petroleum products is calculated by subtracting inputs from production.

Data are subject to revisions.

The energy statistics program uses respondent and administrative data.

Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted.

It takes approximately 100 gigajoules or 2 700 cubic metres of natural gas to heat a new average-sized single detached home in Canada for one year.

A megawatt-hour (or 1,000 kilowatt hours) is equivalent to the amount of electricity used by about 330 homes during one hour.

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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