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Oil coming and going

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Canada is both a major exporter and importer of crude oil. In 2005, we exported about 67% of our domestic oil production—primarily from Alberta to the United States. We imported about 55% of the oil we used that year: that oil flowed from an array of countries into Eastern Canada.

Crude oil exports were worth $30.2 billion in 2005, up from $25.0 billion in 2004 and almost four times the value posted in 1995.

However, the increase from 2004 to 2005 was the result of a 30% rise in prices: the volume of oil exports actually fell slightly. Imports equalled $21.9 billion in 2005.

Ninety-nine percent of Canada’s crude oil exports in 2005 were shipped to the United States. Alberta produced 69% of total exports; Saskatchewan, nearly 21%; and the Atlantic provinces, 10%. British Columbia and Manitoba combined for less than 1%.

Alberta produced two-thirds of Canada’s oil output in 2005; Saskatchewan provided 18%, and Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore fields, 13%. Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories combined for 3% of production.

In 2005, Canadian refineries processed 102.5 million cubic metres of crude oil, or 645 million barrels. Eastern Canada’s refineries use a combination of Newfoundland and Labrador and imported crude oil to meet their refining needs; Central Canada’s use eastern and western Canadian as well as imported crude. Western Canada’s refineries process western Canadian production exclusively, including crude derived from oil sands.