Energy statistics, February 2020
Canada produced more crude oil, natural gas, nuclear and renewable energy in February compared with the same month in 2019, while overall electricity generation declined. Although the month was marked by declining crude oil and natural gas prices, COVID-19 did not appear to have a major impact on energy production in February.
The increase in crude oil production in February was directly attributable to the gradual easing over the last year of production limits imposed by the Alberta government in January 2019.
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Oil sands extraction main contributor to overall increase in crude oil production
Canada produced 22.4 million cubic metres (140.7 million barrels) of crude oil and equivalent products in February, up 9.8% from February 2019, when newly introduced production limits reduced crude output in Alberta. The gain was mainly attributable to oil sands extraction, which includes crude bitumen and synthetic crude oil, up 10.5% year over year to 14.1 million cubic metres.
Heavy, light and medium crude oil increased 7.4% to 6.2 million cubic metres, mostly driven by higher production from Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta. Production of equivalent products also increased in February.
Following a decrease in January, total exports of crude oil and equivalent products rebounded 13.2% year over year to 18.1 million cubic metres in February.
Exports to the United States by pipeline rose 9.3% to 15.6 million cubic metres and accounted for 86.4% of total exports. Exports to other countries were up in February due to higher volumes from Newfoundland and Labrador.
Exports to the United States by other means (rail, truck and marine) also increased.
Imports of crude oil and equivalent products were down 2.5% to 3.7 million cubic metres in February, the first monthly year-over-year decrease since July 2019.
Refinery production up
Net production of motor gasoline (including blending components and ethanol fuel) increased 12.6% to 3.8 million cubic metres in February, while net production of diesel fuel oil was up 11.6% to 3.3 million cubic metres.
Domestic consumption of motor gasoline declined 3.8% year over year to 3.6 million cubic metres, while domestic consumption of diesel fuel increased 12.5% to 2.5 million cubic metres.
Natural gas production increases
Canadian marketable natural gas production rose 4.9% year over year to 564.7 million gigajoules in February.
Total deliveries of natural gas to Canadian consumers declined 4.7% year over year to 490.9 million gigajoules in February, due to lower demand for heating from the commercial and institutional (-11.8%) and residential (-9.5%) sectors. Deliveries to industrial consumers edged up 0.3%.
Following two monthly decreases, exports of natural gas by pipeline to the United States increased 2.8% year over year to 250.9 million gigajoules in February.
Imports of natural gas from the United States by pipeline declined 10.0% to 95.2 million gigajoules, the first monthly year-over-year decline in three months.
Electricity generation down
Electricity generation in Canada decreased 0.9% year over year to 58.4 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in February. The decline was attributable to electricity generated from combustible fuels, down 11.5% to 11.0 million MWh.
The overall decrease in electricity generation was partially offset by renewable generation (including hydro, wind, solar, tidal and other sources), up 2.4% to 40.7 million MWh and nuclear generation, up 10.0% year over year to 7.4 million MWh.
Exports of electricity to the United States rose 8.7% to 4.9 million MWh in February, the fourth consecutive monthly year-over-year increase. Most exports originated in Quebec and Ontario. Imports of electricity from the United States, which tend to be volatile, increased 21.6% to 1.1 million MWh.
The impact of COVID-19 on the energy sector
Statistics Canada is closely monitoring the possible impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canada's energy sector. When looking at the energy sector as a whole, COVID-19 did not appear to have a major impact in February. The month was marked by declining crude oil and natural gas prices, while the extraction, production and distribution of energy products were not substantially impacted. It is expected that in the coming months, there will be a more significant impact on the demand for energy products, directly attributable to physical distancing and declining economic activity.
Note to readers
The survey programs that support the energy statistics release include the following:
- 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 2019 to January 2020 have been revised.
- energy transportation and storage (survey number 5300, tables 25-10-0075-01 and 25-10-0077-01)—data for January 2020 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).
- supply and disposition of refined petroleum products (survey number 2150, table 25-10-0076-01).
- electric power statistics (survey number 2151, tables 25-10-0015-01 and 25-10-0016-01)—data for January 2020 have been revised.
- coal and coke statistics (survey numbers 2147 and 2003, tables 25-10-0045-01 and 25-10-0046-01)—data for January 2020 have been revised.
Data 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 2020, the questionnaire for the Monthly Canadian Pipeline Transport of Oil and Other Liquid Petroleum Products Survey has been redesigned. The new survey (named Monthly Energy Transportation and Storage Survey) content has changed to reflect the evolving petroleum industry. In addition to pipeline companies, rail and marine transportation are now included in the sample. 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 in the published tables prior to January 2020.
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. Because of the change in methodology, the current estimates may not be comparable with the estimates available prior to January 2019.
The energy statistics program uses respondent and administrative data.
Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted.
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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