Data quality, concepts and methodology: Explanatory notes for tables

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Tables groups 1 and 2

Energy products with both primary and secondary sources (steam, electricity and LPG's – liquefied petroleum gases) have their entire disposition accounted for under the primary energy form.


Data presented here are a summation of the different types of coal; bituminous, sub-bituminous, lignite and anthracite. It should be noted that the heat content varies depending on the mine. For publication purposes, provincial/territorial heat contents have been established for Canadian bituminous. Therefore, inter-regional movements, expressed in terajoules, may not balance at the Canada level.

Crude oil

Includes pentanes plus, condensate, crude bitumen and synthetic crude as well as conventional crude. Starting in 1990, the enrichment of synthetic crude at the oil sands plants by the addition of hydrogen, which originates from natural gas, is included as an inter-product transfer.

Inventory data used to calculate stock variation are based on pipeline inventories (which are source province/territory of origin and not the province/territory in which they are held) and refinery inventories. The net effect of this method of calculating is to overstate some provinces/territories and understate others. At the Canada level, however, these differences counter balance.

Any use of crude oil by sectors other than petroleum refineries is included in ‘Other adjustments’. The monthly surveys, Refined Petroleum Products (2150) survey and Crude Oil and Natural Gas (2198) survey, plus data obtained from the Alberta Energy Utilities Board (AEUB) and administrative records are the sources of the data used to compile the crude oil figures.

Natural gas

The basic sources for the natural gas data are the Gas Utilities/Transportation and Distribution Systems (survey 2149), Natural Gas Disposition (survey 2167) and the Industrial Consumption of Energy Survey (5047).

A modified production is used in this publication. This modified production is equal to marketable production plus field flared and waste, field uses, gathering uses, plant uses and plus or minus adjustments as reported in the Crude Oil and Natural Gas (survey 2198) survey. The addition of field flared and waste, field uses, gathering uses, plant uses and plus or minus adjustments is shown as producer consumption in this survey.

Starting with 1990, natural gas used to produce hydrogen for the enrichment of synthetic crude oil or oil products produced by petroleum refineries is shown as an ‘inter-product transfer’.

Estimates for the non-energy use of natural gas have been derived from the annual Industrial Consumption of Energy Survey (5047). The estimates take into account that only certain companies producing the products listed above use natural gas as a feedstock.

Natural gas conversion factors are subject to fluctuations due to the varying heat content of the gas produced from different fields and to the processes to which the gas is subjected. Conversion factors are based on the heat content of natural gas as reported in the Gas Utilities / Transportation and Distribution Systems (survey 2149). The factors are normally revised each year, resulting in revisions to the natural gas terajoule data.

Gas plant NGL's (natural gas liquids)

Includes propane, butane and ethane. Data shown here is a summation of data presented in table groups 6 and 7. Condensate produced by gas plants is included with crude oil. Disposition shown is for both refinery produced propane and butane and for gas plant NGL's.

Primary electricity

Production is for hydro, nuclear, wind, tidal and solar generated electricity. The assumption is made that international and inter-regional movements of electricity are from primary sources. As virtually all generation is supplied to a grid system, it is not possible to determine the dispositions of primary or secondary electricity separately. Disposition data for both primary and secondary electricity is presented here. Nuclear generation of electricity data are displayed in the Table 9.

The annual Electricity Supply and Disposition (survey 2194) is the source of data for this publication.


Steam sold includes only known steam sales of large producers and therefore excludes any steam produced for own consumption as process steam or space heating. Primary production is primarily from nuclear produced steam. Biomass and geothermal produced steam sales will also be included as they become sufficiently important.

In the natural units section of the table, generation of steam for sale data differ from other energy forms in that they are shown under transformed to other fuels. Steam for sale generation is a negative number in order that the column will remain additive.

Secondary generation of steam for sale can be the product of dedicated steam plants or the result of co-generation of electricity and steam. For the dedicated plants, the amounts of fuels used are known; whereas for co-generation plants, only an estimate of the fuels used for steam for sale generation may be made.


The input coal for the coke plants is shown in the coal column.

Coke oven gas

Coke oven gas data comes directly from the annual Industrial Consumption of Energy Survey (5047).

Total refined petroleum products

For the summation of both primary and secondary energy, this column is repeated here. Individual fuel details are found in table groups 3 and 4.

Secondary electricity

This column presents the amount of electricity generated from thermal generation. The fuels used are shown in ‘Transformed to electricity by utilities’ and in ‘Transformed to electricity by industry’ and may include some fuel used for co-generation for which adequate data is not available to enable the split of the fuels. The sources of the data are as indicated for primary electricity. Disposition data is shown under primary electricity. Exports, imports and producers' consumption (which includes line losses) are included under primary electricity.

The usage of heavy fuel oil, coal and natural gas for electricity generation by utilities is as reported on the surveys. Natural gas usage, however, may be overstated in that the total usage of the electric utility, including that gas used for space heating, is measured. Estimates of diesel and light fuel oil consumption use known generation for the year, with the amounts of these fuels used being based on the previous year's reported consumption pattern.

Alberta bituminous coal, used for electricity generation, has a lower heat content than the bituminous coal produced for export. Given the dominance of the export market, the heat content used is that of coal produced for such shipments.

For industrial establishments generating electricity with process steam, the energy required to produce the initial steam is excluded from estimates of fuels used in the generation of electricity. Only that energy needed to super-heat the steam for use in the turbines/generator is considered in these estimates. As a consequence, efficiencies of 65 to 70% result. This contrasts with the generation by electric utilities, where all heat losses are ascribed to electricity generation, resulting in efficiencies ranging between 30 and 40% for most operations.

For most gas turbine and internal combustion generation, reported efficiencies will be in the range of 20 to 35% for both utilities and industry. However, some newer gas turbines have efficiencies of between 70 and 80%.

Table groups 3 and 4

Inter-products transfers

Inter-product transfers are defined as refined petroleum product (RPP) ‘inter-product transfers’, less ‘transfers to refinery feedstocks’ but excluding liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) and natural gas transfers. This change allows the transfers to feedstocks to be picked up in the crude oil column. LPG and Natural gas inputs are on the ‘Transformed to other fuels’– Refined products line.

The item ‘Other adjustments’ is the combination of various RPP items, and is composed as follows:

  1. (+) receipts from reporting companies
  2. (+) receipts from non-reporting companies
  3. (–) deliveries to reporting companies
  4. (–) losses and adjustments

‘Inter-regional transfers’ may be modified to reflect movements that are indicated by supplementary data used in the completion of the tables.

Additional information on oil products produced and used in the oil sands/non-conventional sector of the oil and gas industry are included.

The timing of data selection can affect the calculation of supply data. That is, the inclusion or exclusion of RPP revisions may cause different results.

These tables summarize the activity of Canadian petroleum refineries and the imports of petroleum products. The supply data for all products are derived from the Refined Petroleum Products (survey 2150) survey and from administrative records. Disposition data are from this survey and the Industrial Consumption of Energy Survey (survey 5047).

Because of the way Heavy Fuel Oil and Light Fuel Oil are used, a specific method of combining industries has been employed in the body of this publication. This pattern is detailed in the following:

Light fuel oil

  1. Consumption data reported in the railways and road transport sectors are presented in the commercial and other institutional sector.

Heavy fuel oil

  1. Consumption data reported in railways in Ontario and British Columbia are presented in the domestic marine sector and in the commercial and other institutional sector for all other provinces.
  2. Consumption data reported in British Columbia in the road transport sector is presented in the domestic marine sector and in the commercial and other institutional sector for all other provinces.

Refinery LPG's (liquefied petroleum gases)

The disposition data is combined with that of ‘gas plant NGL's’ from Table Groups 6 and 7.

Still gas

Almost all still gas, also commonly known as refinery fuel gas, is used within the producing refinery. Amounts that are sold appear as ‘Inter-product transfers’. Amounts used to generate electricity are reported on the line ‘Transformed to electricity by industry’.

Kerosene and stove oil and light fuel oil

Only the major industrial uses are shown.Industries with small usage are included with ‘Other manufacturing’.

Heavy fuel oil and petroleum coke

Most of the disposition data for industry is from the Industrial Consumption of Energy Survey (5047). Inventory changes at utilities and industry are on the ‘Stock change – Utilities and industry’ line. ‘Other adjustments’ and ‘Inter-regional movements’ may be modified to balance the ICE data.

Non-energy products

For the summation of all refinery products, the total column of Table 5 is repeated here. Data for the individual products presented in the Table 5 are converted to terajoules and summarized for inclusion here in the terajoule portion of this table in order for Table 4 to remain additive.

Total refined petroleum products

This column is the summation of the individual products (refinery LPG’s, still gas, motor gasoline, kerosene and stove oil, diesel fuel oil, light fuel oil, heavy fuel oil, petroleum coke, aviation gasoline, aviation turbo fuel and non-energy products). This column is carried forward as the ‘Petroleum products’ column in the table groups 1 and 2. Excluded is the disposition of propane and butane that is shown under ‘Gas plant NGL's’.

Table 5

Non-energy refined petroleum products

Although this table shows the final sector of disposition, all of the usage is non-energy use. When shown in the table groups 3 and 4, all usage is considered to be non-energy use and is included on the Non-energy use line.

Petrochemical feedstocks

Refinery gases or other first derivatives of petroleum for use as raw material for further processing includes LPG's, crude tops, crude bottoms, lube oils for recycling and any other product used as petrochemical feedstock.

Naphtha specialties

This includes industrial and commercial solvents, lighting naphtha, mineral spirits and paint thinners. Since the largest portion of these items are used in the commercial sector (dry cleaning plants), the total is attributed to this use.

Lubricating oils and greases

Contains all oils and greases of petroleum origin manufactured or sold for lubricating purposes.

Other products

Includes waxes, paraffin and unfinished products (items which cannot be identified in end-product terms).

Table groups 6 and 7

Details of natural gas liquids (NGL's)

Data for the supply section of this table come from various sources. Principal sources for this data are the National Energy Board, the individual producing provinces/territories and administrative records. Disposition data are estimates based on known usage and consultation with the largest distributors. The validity of the usage estimates is a function of classifications and regionalization used by the distributors, and their ability in determining the type of final customers.

Data for production, exports, imports, inter-regional transfers, stock variation, inter-product transfers, other adjustments, availability, transformed to electricity by utilities, transformed to electricity by industry, transformed to refined products and net supply are for gas plants only. Refinery produced propane, butane and ethane supply items are shown in the table groups 3 and 4 as ‘Refinery LPG’s’. The line called ‘Refinery produced LPG’s (net)’ in these table groups allows the entry of the refinery-produced products into the gas plant stream. This line is the ‘availability’ less ‘producers' consumption’ of propane, butane and ethane, shown in the ‘Refinery LPG’s’ column in table groups 3 and 4.

The net supply numbers of NGL's in “Details of natural gas liquids” table groups 6 and 7 are not the same as those shown in the table groups 1 and 2 'Primary and secondary energy' column. The data shown in the ‘refinery produced LPG's (net)’ of the table groups 6 and 7 is already included in the table groups 3 and 4. It is considered preferable to keep the LPG's data in ‘Net supply’ and ‘Producer consumption’ at refineries.

Similarly, the Energy Use, Final Demand numbers of NGL's in “Details of natural gas liquids” table groups 6 and 7 are not the same as those shown in the table groups 1 and 2 'Primary and secondary energy' column. They include Non-energy use.

Table 8

This table presents a modeled breakdown of the thermal electricity generated from various fossil fuels. Included are the amounts of electricity generated from fuel types excluded from the main tables, i.e. wood waste, spent pulping liquor, waste heat, etc. Negatives may occur as an adjustment reflecting fuels used for station service, as the electricity generation figures are reported on a net (as opposed to gross) generation basis.

The first section of this table presents the total generation by utilities and industry. The second part presents the total generation by utilities only.

Table 9

This table presents in more detail the amount of electricity production shown in the table groups 1 and 2, Primary electricity column, including the portion which is of nuclear generation. Uranium used is based on the heat content as received annually from the utilities concerned.

Table 10

The main tables of this publication do not include alternative energy sources, although it is estimated that these sources account for more than 7% of Canada's energy requirements. However, electricity produced by biomass has been included in the tables.

Data that are received are standardized based on heat content before inclusion in this publication.

Tables 11 and 12

In the upstream oilsands and heavy oil extraction processes, fuel is used from own production. Natural gas/hydrocarbon gas is obtained during the separation stage of the production of heavy crude from the steam injection process. Natural gas/hydrocarbon gas, diesel/synthetic and crude/naphtha are obtained during the separation stages of the oilsand extraction and used by the producing plants.

During the processing in the oilsands plants and in the heavy oil upgraders, hydrogen treatment of heavy crude is carried out, a process which results in a volumetric gain in the amount of crude oil which the plants produce.

These tables provide the volumes of these usage/gains reported in the main tables of this report as an increase in ‘production’ or ‘Inter-product transfers’, with the disposition reported as ‘producer consumption’ or as usage in the ‘mining industry’. The volumetric gain in the crude oil due to hydrogen treatment is shown as a reduction in crude ‘Production’ and an ‘Inter-product transfer’ into the crude oil stream.

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