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Energy statistics, August 2023

Released: 2023-11-10

In August, primary energy production decreased in two of the six subsectors, resulting in a 1.4% year-over-year decline. Coal production (-37.5%) and primary electricity generation (-15.1%) were responsible for the drop. Meanwhile, secondary energy production saw a year-over-year increase of 4.2% in August, mainly due to a 4.2% rise in refined petroleum products.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Primary and secondary energy production in Canada
Primary and secondary energy production in Canada

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.

Hydroelectricity generation falls amid dry conditions in August

Total electricity generation in Canada fell 11.6% year over year in August to 47.5 million megawatt-hours (MWh). This was the lowest level of generation for any August and the largest year-over-year drop since the start of this data series in January 2016.

In August 2023, hydroelectricity generation decreased 20.4% year over year to 25.7 million MWh, the lowest level since September 2021. According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, at the end of August 2023, about 67% of Canada was classified as abnormally dry or drought stricken. These conditions have had a significant impact on hydroelectric generation nationwide.

Electricity consumption declined 2.4% year over year in August. Meanwhile, to compensate for some of the reduced generation, imports of electricity sharply increased 125.1% year over year. Imports to British Columbia were up 182.6% year over year, as that province continued to face dryer than normal conditions.

In August 2023, exports of electricity to the United States dropped 50.7% year over year. Quebec contributed the most to the decline and cited low prices for its decreased exports.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Total electricity generation and hydroelectric generation
Total electricity generation and hydroelectric generation

Crude oil production highest since the start of the data series in 2016

In August 2023, production of crude oil and equivalent products rose 1.5% to 24.8 million cubic metres, the highest volume since the start of this series in January 2016. This was the third consecutive monthly year-over-year increase, as production continued to climb following spring maintenance.

The gain was driven by production of synthetic crude oil, up 16.6% year over year to 6.5 million cubic metres. This increase was partially offset by a 5.8% decline in production of crude bitumen to 9.8 million cubic metres. Meanwhile, exports by pipelines to the United States rose 3.6% year over year, the eighth consecutive monthly increase.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Production of crude oil and equivalents and exports of crude oil to the United States by pipeline
Production of crude oil and equivalents and exports of crude oil to the United States by pipeline

Kerosene-type jet fuel production highest in four years

Production of finished petroleum products rose 0.7% year over year in August, as kerosene-type jet fuel climbed 19.2% to 0.7 million cubic metres, the highest level seen since August 2019. Jet fuel production and consumption had dropped precipitously during the COVID-19 pandemic, but, as demand for air travel began to recover in 2021, production of jet fuel gradually increased. In August 2023, year-to-date production remained lower than pre-pandemic levels, at 10.0% below what it was in 2019. Similarly, year-to-date total aircraft movements were down 12.0% in August 2023 compared with 2019.

Meanwhile, domestic consumption of refined petroleum products rose 2.6% year over year in August 2023, driven by jet fuel (+14.4%).

Chart 4  Chart 4: Production and consumption of kerosene-type jet fuel in Canada
Production and consumption of kerosene-type jet fuel in Canada

Natural gas production and inventories increase and exports decrease in August

Production of marketable natural gas rose 2.9% year over year in August to 659.8 million gigajoules.

Closing inventories of natural gas increased 18.8% year over year in August to 986.7 million gigajoules. While closing inventories typically peak in October, August 2023 levels were already higher than the seasonal peaks of the last two years. Sustained production combined with high inventory levels in the United States and declining prices were largely responsible for the rise in inventories in Canada.

Meanwhile, exports declined 1.6% in August, the seventh decrease in the last eight months.

Chart 5  Chart 5: Canadian natural gas production and closing inventories
Canadian natural gas production and closing inventories

  Note to readers

The survey programs that 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 June and July 2023 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 July 2023 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).
  • Electric power statistics (survey number 2151, tables 25-10-0015-01 and 25-10-0016-01).
  • Coal and coke statistics (survey numbers 2147 and 2003, tables 25-10-0045-01 and 25-10-0046-01). Coal data from July 2023 have been revised.

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. For more information, please consult the Consolidated Energy Statistics Table: User Guide.

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 relies on data collected from respondents and administrative sources.

Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted.

Occasionally, data from Environment and Climate Change Canada are referenced by the Energy Statistics Program using Cooling Degree Days (CDDs) or Heating Degree Days (HDDs) as a measure of temperature. CDDs reflect the relationship between outdoor temperatures and the need to cool indoors to maintain room temperature. As temperatures outside rise, the number of CDDs increases. HDDs are the opposite and reflect 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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