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Study: Canadian Crude Oil Exports: A 30-Year Review

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Released: 2021-06-14

The new study, Canadian Crude Oil Exports: A 30-Year Review, a collaborative analytical report by Statistics Canada and the Canada Energy Regulator (CER), is now available. Statistics Canada and the CER have combined their expertise to put together this retrospective of the evolution of crude oil exports in Canada for the period of 1999 to 2019, as well as preliminary results for 2020.

The report highlights some of the factors that influenced the trends in Canadian oil exports and other key industry indicators, including impacts on crude oil production, industry investment, and Canada's balance of trade.


Canadian crude oil production has evolved considerably over the last 30 years, with volumes nearly tripling over that timeframe.

The value of crude oil exports has increased more than fifteen-fold since 1990, accounting for 14.1% of Canada's total exports in 2019.

Canada's crude oil export volumes increased at an annual average rate of 6.2% over that time.

Largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a year without precedent. The value of crude oil exports fell 40.1% compared with 2019.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Export values of Canadian crude oil and all other products
Export values of Canadian crude oil and all other products

Statistics Canada and the CER have a longstanding relationship in terms of sharing data, information and expertise, as well as providing Canadians with high quality data and informative analysis on energy issues.

This collaboration has led to improvements in both the consistency of the datasets produced by each agency and the overall quality of the data. A data user guide has been produced to explain the differences in the concepts and methodologies applicable to the datasets published by each agency.

The retrospective report, "Canadian Crude Oil Exports: A 30 Year Review" and data user guide, "Reconciling Canada Energy Regulator and Statistics Canada Crude Oil Export Data" are both available on the CER website.

For more information on energy in Canada, visit the website of the Canadian Centre for Energy Information.

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