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Energy statistics, February 2022

Released: 2022-05-05

In February 2022, primary energy production in Canada increased 3.2% to 1.8 million terajoules compared with February 2021, following two consecutive months of declines. Despite the increase, primary energy production was 3.3% below February 2020 levels, the last pre-COVID-19 pandemic month in Canada.

Production of natural gas advanced 9.2% and crude oil increased 4.5%, compared with February 2021. Electricity production also increased a modest 0.4% in February.

Secondary energy production was up 5.4% year over year to 402.1 million terajoules in February, as the refined petroleum products sector continued to improve output (+7.5%).

Crude oil exports rose 3.5% compared with February 2021. The increase contributed to a 4.6% rise in total exports of primary energy, up to 1.1 million terajoules. Meanwhile, total exports of secondary energy fell 10.2% to 77.5 thousand terajoules.

Geopolitical conflict, economic uncertainty, supply constraints and inflationary pressures dominated the global energy market in the first couple of months of 2022. Industrial prices for some energy products spiked in February, as uncertainty surrounding European access to stable global oil and natural gas supplies persisted as Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Meanwhile, several provincial governments began to ease COVID-19-based restrictions in February to support businesses and to restore some state of pre-pandemic normalcy in day-to-day life, despite the ongoing prevalence of the Omicron variant.

For more information on energy in Canada, including production, consumption, international trade and much more, please visit the Canadian Centre for Energy Information website and follow #energynews on social media.

Rise in production of crude oil and equivalent products

Following two consecutive monthly year-over-year declines, production of crude oil and equivalent products rose 4.4% to 21.9 million cubic metres in February. Some operators returned to more normal production activities following temporary production slowdowns in December and January due to colder-than-average temperatures, while others boosted production as the customary maintenance season in the oil sands extraction sector approached. Some operators may have also increased output to take advantage of the rise in industrial prices spurred by political unrest in Eastern Europe.

The overall gain in February was driven by increased production from the oil sands extraction sector, up 3.3% to 14.2 million cubic metres. Crude bitumen production rose 7.9% to 8.7 million cubic metres compared with February 2021. In contrast, production of synthetic crude oil fell 3.3% to 5.5 million cubic metres, as not all upgraders were at full capacity following temporary slowdowns in recent months.

Oil extraction rose 6.6% to 5.5 million cubic metres in February. Light and medium crude oil extraction was up 6.0% to 3.7 million cubic metres, while heavy crude oil production was up 7.8% to 1.8 million cubic metres.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Production of crude oil, by type of product
Production of crude oil, by type of product

Energy prices continued to rise sharply. Following a 17.7% increase in January, the crude oil and bitumen price index jumped another 12.4% month over month in February, and 59.0% year over year, as continued geopolitical tension in Eastern Europe caused uncertainty in the stable supply of some energy products. February 2022 marked the highest price for crude oil and bitumen since the series began in January 2010, surpassing the previous peak in April 2011. Higher demand also contributed to the rise in prices, as the United States Energy Information Agency estimated that demand for petroleum products in the OECD rose by 3.1% in February.

Exports of crude oil and equivalent products rose 3.4% to 17.0 million cubic metres. Exports by pipeline to the United States were up 5.2% to 15.5 million cubic metres, while exports to the United States by other means (including rail, marine transportation and truck) rose 24.9% to 1.3 million cubic metres. On the other hand, exports to other countries were down 58.5% to 0.3 million cubic metres.

Imports of crude oil and equivalent products fell 6.6% to 3.2 million cubic metres in February, as demand from Canadian refineries for foreign crude was down 18.7% to 2.0 million cubic metres. Meanwhile, imports by other entities (excluding refineries) rose 23.1% to 1.2 million cubic metres.

Increased production of refined petroleum products continues

In February 2022, production of refined petroleum products totalled 8.8 million cubic metres, a 7.1% increase from the same month a year earlier. This was the fourth consecutive monthly year-over-year increase. The gain was driven by higher production of distillate fuel oils (+7.4% to 3.3 million cubic metres), finished motor gasoline (+4.6% to 2.6 million cubic metres) and jet fuel (+59.1% to 0.3 million cubic metres).

Production of renewable fuels was up 7.4% to 149,064 cubic metres compared with February 2021, largely due to ethanol (+18.0%). In contrast, production of renewable fuels other than ethanol was down 31.3%.

As noted, several factors, including rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine, have caused global oil prices to rise. According to the Industrial Product Price Index, the price of refined petroleum energy products was up 9.1% in February compared with January. Meanwhile, Canadian motorists continue to see the effect of rising prices at the gas pump. As reported by the Consumer Price Index, gasoline prices increased 6.9% month over month, while prices were up 32.3% compared with February 2021.

Demand for refined petroleum products continued to grow, with 7.6 million cubic metres supplied in Canada (+14.7%). In keeping with production, February's increase was driven by higher demand for distillate fuel oil which was 15.8% higher than in February 2021, up to 2.6 million cubic metres. The amount of motor gasoline supplied also rose 9.7% to 3.1 million cubic metres, while jet fuel supplied sharply increased by 140.9% from a year earlier. In February, according to aircraft movement statistics, aircraft movements at Canada's major airports increased by 20.8% from the same month in 2021, and by 81.7% of the number recorded in February 2019, before the pandemic.

Exports of finished petroleum products fell 14.8% to 1.4 million cubic metres in February. Decreased exports of motor gasoline (-60.9%), distillate fuel oil (-12.2%) and jet fuel (-39.5%) were marginally offset by a 1.5% rise in exports of other petroleum products.

Meanwhile, total imports of petroleum products rose 40.2% to 0.5 million cubic metres, following a 22.9% drop in January. The gain was driven by a 185.1% rise in imports of jet fuel, as demand for air travel continued to rebound.

Imports of renewable fuels increased 63.0% in February, marking the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year increases.

Natural gas production increases while inventory declines

Production of marketable natural gas rose sharply in February 2022, up 9.2% year over year to 574.8 million gigajoules. This was the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year increases in production, reflecting a recovery from a period of reduced demand and production in 2020 and 2021 caused by the economic effects of the pandemic and the ensuing public health measures. The increase in production was primarily attributable to Alberta (+7.2%) and British Columbia (+14.3%), where the bulk of Canadian natural gas production occurs.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Marketable production of natural gas
Marketable production of natural gas

Following a 16.0% rise in January, total deliveries of natural gas to Canadian consumers posted a more modest 0.6% increase year over year to 487.4 million gigajoules in February. An increase in deliveries to the industrial sector (+3.9%) was offset by decreased demand in the residential (-5.7%) and commercial and institutional (-2.2%) sectors.

Inventories of natural gas held in Canadian facilities declined by 21.3% year over year in February, closing the month at 484.1 million gigajoules. Over the course of a year, natural gas inventories are generally drawn down during winter and early spring and restocked in summer and early fall, but February 2022 represents both the largest monthly inventory withdrawal by percentage (-24.5%) and the lowest total inventory level seen since the beginning of this series in January 2016.

Exports of natural gas increased by 0.8% in February to 281.0 million gigajoules. British Columbia was the primary exporter, accounting for 42.8% of exports. Imports of natural gas declined by 2.5% to 87.9 million gigajoules.

In February, the natural gas price index was up 2.4% month over month, and up 9.9 % year over year.

Electricity generation and consumption down year over year

Electricity generation in Canada fell 1.6% year over year to 56.2 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in February, following a 5.4% increase in January.

In February 2022, hydroelectricity generation, which remained the largest single contributor to Canadian electricity generation (62.1% of total generation), declined 4.1% to 34.9 million MWh compared with the same month a year earlier. Electricity generated from combustible fuel sources including biomass was also down (-8.4%) to 10.4 million MWh.

Generation increases in nuclear energy (+14.8%) and wind power (+19.9%) were reported in February. The rise in nuclear energy was driven by higher generation in Ontario and New Brunswick, where an unplanned outage in February 2021 saw low generation one year ago.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Electricity generation and consumption
Electricity generation and consumption

After a 7.6% increase in January, electricity consumption declined 0.6% year-over-year in February to 53.5 million MWh, driven by decreases in British Columbia (-11.2%) and Alberta (-8.3%). According to Environment and Climate Change Canada data, consumption in Quebec increased 5.7% as temperatures remained below average across much of the province. Conversely, British Columbia saw above-average temperatures for much of February, which may have contributed to some reduction in electricity consumption.

Electricity exports to the United States decreased 3.6% to 4.4 million MWh in February 2022. Quebec (-15.2%) and Manitoba (-40.9%) exports were down compared with a year earlier, while British Columbia partly offset those declines with a 48.0% increase in exports.

Imports of electricity from the United States rose 38.6% to 1.6 million MWh, largely due to a 144.8% increase in purchases by Manitoba. Manitoba continued to rely on imported electricity because of the lingering impact of the 2021 drought on Manitoba's electricity generation.

Coal production continues to decline

Total coal production fell year over year for the fourth consecutive month, down 11.4% to 3.0 million tonnes in February 2022. International demand for coal, which tends to be volatile, rose 28.4% year over year to 2.5 million tonnes, or 85.3% of total monthly production.

Coke production continued its downward trend, dropping 23.4% to 132 021 tonnes in February.

  Note to readers

The consolidated energy statistics table (25-10-0079-01) presents monthly data on primary and secondary energy by fuel type in terajoules (crude oil, natural gas, electricity, coal, etc.) and supply and demand characteristics (production, exports, imports, etc.) for Canada. The table uses data from a variety of survey and administrative sources. Estimates are available starting with the January 2020 reference month. For more information, please consult the Consolidated Energy Statistics Table: User Guide.

The survey programs that support the energy statistics release include the following:

  • Crude oil and natural gas (survey number 2198, tables 25-10-0036-01, 25-10-0055-01 and 25-10-0063-01). Data for January 2022 have been revised.
  • Energy transportation and storage (survey number 5300, tables 25-10-0075-01 and 25-10-0077-01).
  • 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).
  • Refined petroleum products (survey number 2150, table 25-10-0081-01).
  • Renewable fuel plant statistics (survey number 5294, table 25-10-0082-01). National estimates of renewable fuel plant statistics are presented by supply and disposition characteristics (production, shipments, inventories, etc.).
  • Electric power statistics (survey number 2151, tables 25-10-0015-01 and 25-10-0016-01). Data for January 2022 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 2022 have been revised for coal.

Data are subject to revisions. Energy data are revised on an ongoing basis for each month of the current year to reflect new information provided by respondents and updates to administrative data. Historical revisions are also performed periodically.

Definitions, data sources and methods for each survey program are available under their respective survey number.

The Energy Statistics Program uses respondent and administrative data.

Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted.

For more information about liquid renewable fuels, consult Liquid renewable fuels in Canada, 2020.

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; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

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