Market Snapshot: Canadian crude oil imports from the U.S. decline in 2016, overseas imports increase
Release date: 2017-02-21
Overall Canadian crude oil imports rose slightly in 2016 to reach 759 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d). Imports from the United States (U.S.) fell from 473 Mb/d to 412 Mb/d or 54% of all imports, reversing a multi-year upward trend. Overseas imports rose from 277 Mb/d to 348 Mb/d. Canada’s primary sources for overseas imports in 2016 were Saudi Arabia (11%), Algeria (11%), Nigeria (10%), and Norway (6%), with Algeria and Nigeria roughly doubling their shares compared to 2015. Oil also came from Kazakhstan, the United Kingdom, Azerbaijan, and many other countries.
Source and Description
Description: The above stacked column chart shows Canadian crude oil imports by country from 2010 to 2016. Crude oil imports grew to 759 Mb/d in 2016, a 1% increase. The U.S. share of these imports, which had been growing consistently for several years, decreased from 63% to 54%. Canada’s main sources for overseas imports in 2016 were Saudi Arabia (11%), Algeria (11%), Nigeria (10%), and Norway (6%).
The four eastern Canadian provinces with refineries (Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador) receive the majority of Canadian crude oil imports, but each province has very different dynamics.
In 2016, Ontario imports were all from the U.S. and more than tripled to reach 85 Mb/d. Newfoundland and Labrador imports increased only 1% to 90 Mb/d, but went from being nearly all from the U.S. in 2015 to roughly half being supplied from the U.S. in 2016. New Brunswick imports fell 6% to 218 Mb/d, including a 61% decrease in U.S. imports. Quebec imports fell 25% to 214 Mb/d, led by a 43% drop in U.S. imports.
Source and Description
Description: The above stacked column chart shows Canadian crude oil imports into Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Québec, and Ontario for 2015 and 2016. Imports are separated by origin, namely the U.S. and the rest of the world. Newfoundland and Labrador imports remained relatively constant at around 90 Mb/d, but the U.S. share of these imports decreased from 94% in 2015 to 55% in 2016. New Brunswick imports fell 6% to 218 Mb/d, with a 61% decrease in U.S. imports and a 27% increase in overseas imports. Quebec’s imports fell 25% to 214 Mb/d, led by a 43% drop in U.S. imports. Crude imports to Ontario, all of which were from the U.S., increased from 26 Mb/d to 85 Mb/d.
Western Canadian crude oil imports, which are all from the U.S., increased 33% to 152 Mb/d in 2016. Most of this is attributable to increased imports of diluent, which is condensate (a natural gas liquid) or light oil that is mixed with oil sands bitumen to facilitate pipeline transport.Footnote 1
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