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Energy statistics, December 2022

Released: 2023-03-08

December 2022 closed a year that saw numerous external challenges which influenced Canada's energy sector. Canadian energy producers finished the year by posting an increase in the production of primary energy, up 5.1% to 2.0 million terajoules in December. Compared with December 2021, four of the six energy subsectors reported higher production, notably natural gas (+5.9%) and crude oil (+4.3%).

Production of secondary energy products increased 4.9% in December 2022, which was largely attributable to the refined petroleum products sector (+5.3%).

An in-depth review of 2022 is available in the section titled "Energy year in review 2022" at the end of this release.

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

Crude oil and equivalent products production remains strong

Production of crude oil and equivalent products increased 4.2% to 24.5 million cubic metres in December. This was the sixth consecutive monthly year-over-year increase, as international demand for energy products remained strong.

The overall increase in December was driven by higher oil sands extraction, up 3.4% to 15.9 million cubic metres. Crude bitumen production rose 5.4% to 9.8 million cubic metres, while synthetic crude oil production edged up 0.2% to 6.1 million cubic metres. Production remained strong despite a week of extreme cold weather in Western Canada, which caused temporary disruptions to some operations.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Production of crude bitumen and synthetic crude oil
Production of crude bitumen and synthetic crude oil

According to the Raw Materials Price Index, the price of crude oil and bitumen was up 16.4% from December 2021, the smallest year-over-year rise since energy prices started to increase sharply that year. In December 2022, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to continue with crude oil production cuts, citing falling demand for oil and a possible recession in key economies.

Exports of crude oil and equivalent products were down 6.1% to 18.4 million cubic metres in December. Exports to the United States by pipeline decreased 7.5% following a disruption to flows on the Keystone pipeline, after a leak was discovered in Kansas on December 7.

Drop in motor gasoline production leads overall decline in refined petroleum products

Production of refined petroleum products fell 3.6% to 9.7 million cubic metres in December compared with December 2021. A 6.8% drop in production of finished motor gasoline was the largest contributor to the decrease and the ninth consecutive monthly year-over-year decrease. This followed strong production in 2021 and early 2022, when travel recovered from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In December, a 13.5% drop in production of kerosene-type jet fuel, due in part to some temporary refinery shutdowns, marked the first year-over-year decline, following 20 consecutive increases.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Production of finished motor gasoline and kerosene-type jet fuel
Production of finished motor gasoline and kerosene-type jet fuel

Production of renewable fuels was down 2.3% in December. Non-ethanol renewable fuels fell 10.5% compared with December 2021, while ethanol (-0.1%) was relatively unchanged.

Consumption of refined petroleum products rose 4.3% in December, led by a 25.1% rise in kerosene-type jet fuel. Despite a drop in production, demand for jet fuel continued to climb, and the shortfall between consumption and production was filled by a 77.3% increase in imports.

Exports of finished petroleum products fell 16.3% to 1.4 million cubic metres in December, which was mainly attributable to distillate fuel oil (-17.5%).

According to the Industrial Product Price Index, in December, prices for refined petroleum energy products fell 11.4% month over month but were 33.4% higher than December 2021 levels.

Production and exports of natural gas reach new series high

Production of marketable natural gas rose 5.9% to 662.2 million gigajoules in December, marking the 21st consecutive year-over-year increase and the highest level of monthly production since this data series started in January 2016. High prices and export demand continued to drive Canadian natural gas production.

Total deliveries of natural gas to the industrial, residential and commercial, and institutional sectors rose 5.3% year over year to 525.0 million gigajoules in December. Industrial deliveries, which accounted for the bulk of all consumption, increased 4.8% year over year. Industrial deliveries have been trending upwards over the past two years, largely in-sync with crude oil production.

Demand for Canadian natural gas in the United States rose 13.7% year over year to 322.8 million gigajoules in December, the highest level of exports since this series began in January 2016.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Production and export of natural gas
Production and export of natural gas

Amidst high levels of demand, prices were 30.8% higher in December compared with December 2021, according to the natural gas price index, but were unchanged compared with November 2022.

Electricity exports climb year over year

Total electricity generation in Canada rose 2.3% year over year to 61.9 million megawatt-hours (MWh) in December. Increases in generation from hydroelectric (+4.4%), combustible (+3.8%) and wind (+2.0%) sources compensated for an 11.1% drop in nuclear generation.

Ongoing refurbishment at units of Ontario's Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, as well as unplanned maintenance at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station in New Brunswick, reduced generation in December.

Ontario's use of combustibles rose 25.1% in December to compensate for reduced nuclear generation levels. In contrast, a 7.9% drop in Saskatchewan's combustible generation partially offset the overall increase. In 2022, Saskatchewan began purchasing electricity from Manitoba in order to reduce its dependence on combustibles.

Exports of electricity to the United States climbed 6.2% year over year in December to 5.2 million MWh. The increase in exports was largely driven by Manitoba's ongoing recovery from the effects that the 2020 and 2021 drought had on the province's hydroelectric generation.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Exports of electricity from Manitoba
Exports of electricity from Manitoba

Meanwhile, British Columbia's exports to the United States fell 46.1% compared with December 2021 as a result of decreasing exports to California.

Coal production down year over year

Total coal production in Canada was 2.9 million tonnes in December, down 7.0% year over year. Coal exports rose 10.7% to 1.7 million metric tonnes.

Energy year in review 2022

The year 2022 saw a sharp increase in demand for energy products, as economies continued reopening. The recovery of economic activity caused demand to quickly outstrip the supply surplus that was a key highlight of 2020 and 2021. The Russian invasion of Ukraine in early 2022 caused uncertainty regarding the availability of energy products in Europe, further driving up global demand for Canadian energy.

Primary energy production rose 4.0% year over year in 2022, largely due to natural gas (+7.3% to 8.3 million terajoules) and crude oil (+2.6% to 11.1 million terajoules). Natural gas liquids (+6.2%) and electricity generation (+2.6%) also contributed to the gain.

Secondary energy production increased 1.9% year over year in 2022, driven by refined petroleum products (+2.2% to 4.6 million terajoules).

In 2022, total energy exports were up 4.1% year over year to 14.8 million terajoules. The gain was driven by exports of crude oil (+2.3%) and natural gas (+8.0%), which, combined, represented 82.1% of all energy exports from Canada. Meanwhile, decreases in exports of refined petroleum products (-6.1%) and renewable fuels (-14.1%) slightly offset the net increase in exports.

Prices for energy products continued to increase in 2022, after a major rally in 2021 following the turbulent pandemic-related conditions. The monthly average price index for refined petroleum products, including motor gasoline and distillate fuel oil, was a key driver of producer price inflation, which rose by 56.6% from 2021. The crude oil and bitumen price index (+49.0%) increased by nearly half in 2022. Natural gas prices also experienced sharp increases in 2022, up 25.6% over the previous year.

Strong domestic and foreign demand contributed to a series high in production of crude oil and equivalent products (282.5 million cubic metres) in 2022. Production of crude bitumen reached a series high of 115.7 million cubic metres, while synthetic crude oil was down 1.2% to 67.7 million cubic metres in 2022.

Chart 5  Chart 5: Production of crude oil and equivalents
Production of crude oil and equivalents

Production of refined petroleum products totalled 112.3 million cubic metres in 2022, up 0.8% from the previous year. This increase was mainly due to kerosene-type jet fuel (+44.7%) and distillate fuel oil (+2.1%), while motor gasoline production was down 2.3% for the year.

The rebound of kerosene-type jet fuel production was notable in 2022. The increase in air travel following the impact of the pandemic directly contributed to the gains in jet fuel demand and prices. According to the Industrial Product Price Index, average jet fuel prices (+94.5%) nearly doubled over the previous year. However, jet fuel production in 2022 remained 20.0% lower than the pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Chart 6  Chart 6: Consumption of kerosene-type jet fuel
Consumption of kerosene-type jet fuel

Marketable natural gas production totalled 7.6 billion gigajoules in 2022, an increase of 7.4% from the previous year and the highest level since this series started in 2016. Total deliveries of natural gas to domestic consumers rose 6.4% to 4.9 billion gigajoules, mainly driven by higher demand from the industrial sector (+5.9%).

Exports of natural gas to the United States in 2022 increased 8.0% year over year, the highest annual increase in the series. The increase was due in part to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting instability in the global natural gas market. In 2022, the United States increased exports of liquified natural gas to Europe and increased its imports of Canadian natural gas to compensate.

Electricity generation in Canada edged up 2.0% from 2021 levels to 640.3 million MWh in 2022. Electric generation from renewable energy sources (including hydro, wind, solar and others) increased 4.1% from 2021. Meanwhile, generation from nuclear (-5.8%) and combustible sources (-0.8%) decreased year over year, largely due to refurbishment and maintenance activities at Ontario and New Brunswick's nuclear generating stations.

Exports of electricity to the United States were up 8.4% from 2021. Higher quantities of electricity delivered by Manitoba (+91.8%) and British Columbia (+6.6%) contributed to the year-over-year increase. Drought conditions in 2020 and 2021 contributed to low levels of hydroelectric generation and exports from Manitoba, which led the way for a strong rebound in 2022.

Chart 7  Chart 7: Exports of electricity to the United States
Exports of electricity to the United States

  Note to readers

The consolidated energy statistics table (25-10-0079-01) presents monthly data on primary and secondary energy by fuel type (crude oil, natural gas, electricity, coal, etc.) in terajoules 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 which support the "Energy statistics" release include:

  • Crude oil and natural gas (survey number 2198; tables 25-10-0036-01, 25-10-0055-01 and 25-10-0063-01). Data from January to November 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). Data from January to November 2022 have been revised.
  • 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 October and November 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 November 2022 have been revised.

Data are subject to revisions. Energy data and other supporting data used in the text 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 the respective survey number.

The Energy Statistics Program uses respondent and administrative data.

Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted.

Data from Environment and Climate Change Canada referenced by the Energy Statistics Program uses Heating Degree Days (HDDs) as a measure of temperature. HDDs reflect the relationship between outdoor temperatures and the need to heat indoors to maintain room temperature. As temperatures outside fall, the number of HDDs increases.

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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