Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles – Canada

Table of Contents
  • Figure 1: Hydrocarbon Production in Canada

    Figure 1: Hydrocarbon Production in Canada

    Source and Description:

    NEB (Crude oil, natural gas)

    This graph shows hydrocarbon production in Canada from 2006 to 2016. Over this period, crude oil production grew from 2.6 MMb/d to 3.9 MMb/d, with all growth coming from the oil sands. Natural gas production deceased from 17 Bcf/d to 15 Bcf/d.

  • Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2016)

    Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2015)

    Source and Description:


    This pie chart shows electricity generation by source in Canada. A total of 652.4 TW.h of electricity was generated in 2016.

  • Figure 3: Electricity Capacity and Primary Fuel Sources Map

    Figure 3: Electricity Capacity and Primary Fuel Sources Map

    Source and Description:

    NEB, Quilliq Energy Corporation, Northwest Territories Power Corporation, Yukon Energy Corporation, Natural Resources Canada

    This map shows electricity generation facilities in Canada. Facilities are shown by capacity and by primary fuel source.

    PDF version [2820 KB]

  • Figure 4: Crude Oil Infrastructure Map

    Figure 4: Crude Oil Infrastructure Map

    Source and Description:


    This map shows all major crude oil pipelines and rail lines in Canada

    PDF version [1822 KB]

  • Figure 5: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map

    Figure 5: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map

    Source and Description:


    This map shows all major natural gas pipelines in Canada.

    PDF version [2480 KB]

  • Figure 6: End-Use Demand by Sector (2015)

    Figure 6: End-Use Demand by Sector (2015)

    Source and Description:


    This pie chart shows end-use energy demand in Canada by sector. Total end-use energy demand was 11 217 PJ in 2015. The largest sector was industrial at 51 % of total demand, followed by transportation (at 23 %), residential (at 14 %), and lastly, commercial (at 12 %).

  • Figure 7: End-Use Demand by Fuel (2015)

    Figure 7: End-Use Demand by Fuel (2015)

    Source and Description:


    This figure shows end-use demand by fuel type in Canada in 2015. Refined petroleum products accounted for 4 625 PJ (41 %) of demand, followed by natural gas at 3 938 PJ (35 %), electricity at 1 879 PJ (17 %), biofuels at 627 PJ (6 %), and other at 148 PJ (1 %).

    Note: "Other" includes coal, coke, and coke oven gas.

  • Figure 8: GHG Emissions by Sector (2015)

    Figure 8: GHG Emissions by Sector (2015)

    Source and Description:

    Environment and Climate Change Canada – National Inventory Report

    This stacked column graph shows GHG emissions in Canada every five years from 1990 to 2015 in MT of CO2e. Total GHG emissions have increased in Canada from 611 MT of CO2e in 1990 to 722 MT of CO2e in 2015.

Energy Production

Crude Oil

  • Canada produced approximately 4.0 million barrels per day (MMb/d) of crude oil in 2016, an increase of 38% from 2010 (Figure 1). This ranked Canada as the 6th largest oil producer in the world.
  • Canadian production is centered in western Canada, which accounted for 95% of total production in 2016. The remaining 5% was produced mostly in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Canada’s crude oil goes primarily to export markets. In 2016, Canada exported an average of 3.1 MMb/d – a 2% increase since 2015 and a 58% increase since 2010.
  • Canada holds some of the largest oil reserves in the world, surpassed only by Saudi Arabia and Venezuela as of December 2015.

Refined Petroleum Products (RPPs)

  • RPPs are a range of products that are refined from crude oil, such as gasoline, diesel, heating oil, and jet fuel. RPPs are the largest type of energy consumed by end-users in Canada.
  • Canada has 16 refineries with a total capacity of 1.9 MMb/d. Alberta has the largest share of refining capacity (24%), followed by Ontario (21%), Quebec (20%), New Brunswick (16%), Saskatchewan (8%), and Newfoundland and Labrador (6%).
  • In 2016, Canadian refineries operated on average at 87% of capacity and consumed 1.7 MMb/d of crude oil.

Natural Gas/Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs)

  • In 2016, total Canadian natural gas production averaged 15.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) (Figure 1).
  • Alberta and British Columbia (B.C.) accounted for almost 96% of Canadian production. Smaller amounts of natural gas are produced in Saskatchewan, offshore Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Northwest Territories (NWT).
  • In 2016, production of natural gas liquids (NGLs) from gas processing plants was 719 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d). The majority of this production (89%) was from Alberta, while B.C. produced 9%, and Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia both produced around 1%. Canadian refineries produced an additional 42 Mb/d of propane and butane in 2015.

Electricity and Renewables

  • In 2016, Canada produced 652.4 terawatt hours (TW.h) of electricity. More than half of the electricity in Canada (59%) is generated from hydro sources. The remainder is produced from a variety of sources, including natural gas, nuclear, wind, coal, biomass, solar, and petroleum (Figure 2).
  • Canadian regulation of the electricity sector occurs primarily at the provincial level. This includes most policies related to pricing as well as the types of power generation used.
  • Either publicly– or privately–owned utilities, or a mix of the two in the case of Alberta and Ontario, generate and distribute most of the electricity in Canada. Deregulated wholesale electricity markets exist only in Alberta and Ontario. Deregulated wholesale pricing is determined by supply and demand forces.
  • Different jurisdictions use different sources of power generation (Figure 3). B.C, Manitoba, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Yukon each generate over 80% of their electricity from hydroelectricity. Ontario, New Brunswick, and NWT rely on various combinations of nuclear, hydro, wind, biomass, coal, natural gas, and petroleum – although not all provinces use all of them. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Nunavut generate the majority of their electricity from fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, or petroleum.
  • Generation from wind farms and solar photovoltaic panels grew from a negligible amount in 2005 to almost 5% of total electricity generation in 2015. The majority of the wind facilities in Canada are located in Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta. Ontario is home to over 98% of Canada’s solar installations.


  • Canada is a world leader in uranium production, accounting for 22% of global production in 2016. Approximately 85% of Canadian production is exported, with the remaining 15% used to fuel reactors in Ontario and New Brunswick.
  • Saskatchewan is currently the only uranium producing province in Canada. The McArthur River-Key Lake mine in northern Saskatchewan is the largest uranium producing mine in the world. Uranium was previously mined in Ontario and NWT as well.
  • The world’s largest uranium refinery is operated by Cameco and located in Blind River, Ontario. Refined uranium is then shipped to conversion facilities for further manufacturing into fuel.

Energy Transportation and Trade

Crude Oil and Liquids

  • Canada’s large pipeline system serves both domestic refineries and export markets (Figure 4). The NEB regulates all interprovincial and international crude oil pipelines.
  • In 2016, Canada exported 2.29 MMb/d of heavy crude oil and 0.81 MMb/d of light crude oil. The total value Canada’s net crude oil exports in 2016 was $35.4 billion.
  • In 2016, Canada imported 0.76 MMb/d of primarily light crude oil. All imports were received in eastern Canada.
  • The majority of Canada’s crude oil exports are moved by four pipelines: the Enbridge Mainline, TransCanada’s Keystone, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain, and Enbridge’s Express.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Canadian crude exports are delivered to its largest and most important market – the Midwest United States (U.S.). Canada’s fastest growing market is the U.S. Gulf Coast. Canadian exports have more than tripled to the Gulf Coast since 2013.
  • In 2017, Canada had 33 crude oil rail loading facilities in operation. All facilities were located in western Canada and have an estimated total capacity of 1.1 MMb/d.
  • There are six rail offloading facilities in Canada with an estimated total capacity of 0.3 MMb/d. Two of these terminals are located in B.C., three are in Quebec, and one is in New Brunswick.
  • In 2016, rail transported approximately 3% of Canadian crude oil exports and around 5% of the domestic and imported crude oil consumed by Canadian refineries.
  • Alberta supplies RPPs to the Prairies through the Enbridge Mainline and to B.C through the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Alberta also supplies RPPs to neighbouring provinces by rail and truck.
  • Quebec delivers petroleum products primarily to Ontario via the Trans-Northern Pipeline, Canada’s largest interprovincial RPP pipeline, and by rail, ship, and truck.
  • Exports of Canadian RPPs are primarily from the Atlantic refineries, though small volumes are exported to the U.S. from all Canadian regions.
  • Quebec, Ontario, and the Atlantic provinces are the primary importing regions for RPPs, together accounting for 84% of total Canadian imports.

Natural Gas

  • In 2016, Canada exported an average of 8.1 Bcf/d to the U.S. Canada also imported 2.1 Bcf/d in 2016. The value of natural gas exports less imports in 2016 was $6.1 billion.
  • The vast majority of Canadian natural gas produced is exported to the U.S. via pipelines while a very small amount is exported via truck as LNG.
  • Canada has a vast network of natural gas pipelines (Figure 5). Natural gas generally flows from production areas in western Canada to higher demand markets in central Canada and the U.S. The TransCanada Mainline is the primary long-haul natural gas pipeline in Canada, extending from the NGTL system at the Alberta/Saskatchewan border to the Quebec border. Several other interprovincial and international pipelines regulated by the NEB also transport Canadian gas to markets. These include Alliance, Westcoast, Foothills, Trans-Quebec and Maritimes, Maritimes and Northeast, and Emera Brunswick.
  • Several bi-directional pipelines in Ontario allow for the import of natural gas during periods of peak demand.
  • There is approximately 770 Bcf of underground natural gas storage available in Canada. About 65% of this storage capacity is located throughout Alberta, with the remainder located near Sarnia, Ontario. Natural gas storage is used to provide supply to consuming regions during peak winter demand.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

  • Since 2011, the NEB has approved 35 LNG export licence applications and one natural gas import application. None of the projects where an export licence has been approved have reached the construction stage. LNG export projects have been proposed for both the West and East Coasts of Canada.
  • Canada has one LNG import terminal – the Canaport terminal in New Brunswick. Canaport began operating in 2009 and has a natural gas delivery capacity of 1.2 Bcf/d, but actual volumes have been much lower.
  • Several provinces and territories house small-scale LNG facilities for a variety of uses, including transportation (including marine and fleet vehicles) and power generation. LNG is also used for providing natural gas during demand peaks (for example, in Delta, B.C.; Sudbury, Ontario; and Montreal, Quebec).


  • Canada is a net exporter of electricity. In 2016, net exports (all to the U.S.) reached a record high 63.8 TW.h, or about 10% of Canada’s electricity production.
  • The total value of Canada’s electricity exports was $2.9 billion and the value of imports was $253 million, resulting in net exports in 2016 of $2.6 billion. The bulk of electricity trade occurs between the U.S. and the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and B.C.
  • Electricity trade most frequently occurs in a north-south direction, between provinces and states, rather than in an east-west direction between provinces.

Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Total Energy Consumption

  • End-use demand in Canada was 11 217 petajoules (PJ) in 2015. The largest sector for energy demand was industrial at 51% of total demand, followed by transportation at 23%, residential at 14% and commercial at 12% (Figure 6).
  • RPPs were the largest fuel type consumed in Canada in 2015, accounting for 4 625 PJ, or 41% of consumption. Natural gas and electricity accounted for 3 938 PJ (35%) and 1 879 PJ (17%), respectively (Figure 7).

Refined Petroleum Products

  • Canadian refineries produced approximately 4% more refined petroleum products (RPPs) than required domestically in 2016. However, differences in provincial refining capacity and demand create the need for interprovincial transfers and trade with the U.S.
  • On average, a “representative tank” of Canadian gasoline consists of 70% gasoline refined in the province where it is consumed, 20% gasoline refined in another province, and 10% imported gasoline. However, significant regional differences exist. For example, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and the territories have no refineries and all of the gasoline consumed there is produced elsewhere.
  • Gasoline in western Canada and Ontario is primarily produced with western Canadian crude oil, while gasoline in Quebec and Atlantic Canada is produced using a mix of western Canadian, offshore Atlantic Canadian, and imported crude oils.
  • Growing production, new pipeline capacity, and new rail offloading facilities in eastern Canada has allowed western Canadian and U.S. crude oil to increasingly displace overseas imports in eastern Canadian markets.
  • Total demand in Canada for RPPs in 2016 was 1.8 MMb/d. The primary products consumed were gasoline and diesel, accounting for 45% and 27% of total RPP consumption, respectively. Other products, including heavy fuel oil, asphalt, and lubricants accounted for the remaining 28%.

Natural Gas

  • Canada consumed an average of 8.3 Bcf/d of natural gas in 2016. The largest consumers of natural gas were Alberta at 3.9 Bcf/d, followed by Ontario and B.C. at 2.3 Bcf/d and 0.8 Bcf/d, respectively.
  • Canada’s largest consuming sector for natural gas was the industrial sector, which consumed 5.5 Bcf/d in 2016. The residential and commercial sectors consumed 1.5 Bcf/d and 1.3 Bcf/d, respectively.

Electricity Consumption

  • In 2015, annual electricity consumption per capita in Canada was 14.5 megawatt hours (MW.h). Quebec ranked the highest for annual electricity consumption at 21.1 MW.h per capita, and Nunavut ranked the lowest at 5.1 MW.h per capita.
  • Canada’s largest consuming sector for electricity in 2015 was industrial at 229.5 TW.h. The commercial and residential sectors consumed 169.0 TW.h and 119.3 TW.h, respectively. The transportation sector consumed a negligible amount. Canadian electricity demand has grown only 3% since 2005.

GHG Emissions

  • Canada’s GHG emissions in 2015 were 721.8 megatonnes (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Canada’s emissions have increased 18% since 1990.Footnote 1  
  • Canada’s per capita emissions were 20.1 tonnes CO2e in 2015.
  • Canada’s share of world cumulative GHG emissions has been below 2.0% since 1990. Despite this low share, Canada ranks 2nd for GHG emissions per capita in developed nations, after Australia.
  • The largest sector for GHG emissions in Canada is oil and gas production, which emitted 189.5 MT CO2e in 2015. Transportation was the 2nd largest emitter with 173.0 MT CO2e, followed by industries and manufacturing at 97.5 MT, and electricity at 78.8 MT (Figure 8).
  • Of the 189.5 MT CO2e emitted by the oil and gas sector in 2015, 167.3 MT were attributable to production, processing, and transmission and 22.1 MT were attributable to petroleum refining and natural gas distribution.
  • Canada’s GHG emissions from power generation declined 17% between 2000 and 2015. The vast majority of this reduction came from Ontario’s phase-out of coal-fired generation. Between 2000 and 2014, Ontario’s GHG emissions from electricity declined from 42.6 MT CO2e to 5.3 MT.
  • Saskatchewan and Alberta are the provinces with the highest emissions from power generation. In 2015, Alberta generated 59% of Canada’s total GHG emissions from power generation and Saskatchewan accounted for 19%.

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