2016 Oil Exports Statistics Summary

In 2016, total crude oil exports volumes, driven mainly by exports of heavy crude oil, continued to increase. However, the average price received for Canada’s crude oil exports decreased in 2016. As a result, these lower prices contributed to decreased crude oil export values. For information about crude oil markets 2016, refer to the crude oil market snapshots on the NEB website.

Table 1: Export SummaryTable Note a

Table 1: Export Summary
  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Volume (Million m³) 136.2 151.7 165.6 176.7 180.2
Heavy 86.7 100.0 113.8 126.5 133.1
Light 49.5 51.8 51.8 50.2 47.1
Volume (MMbbl/d) 2.34 2.62 2.86 3.05 3.10
Heavy 1.49 1.72 1.96 2.18 2.29
Light 0.85 0.89 0.89 0.87 0.81
Price ($/m³)Table Note b 526.31 539.36 552.61 315.64 276.57
Heavy 481.82 489.83 518.65 290.23 252.05
Light 604.33 635.04 627.14 379.65 345.86
Value ($ Billions) 71.7 81.8 91.5 55.8 49.8
Heavy 41.8 49.0 59.0 36.7 33.5
Light 29.9 32.9 32.5 19.1 16.3

Source: NEB data retrieved on 10 March 2017

m³ = cubic metres
MMbbl/d = million barrels per day
$ = Canadian dollars
Numbers may not add due to rounding

Export Volumes

The National Energy Board (NEB) authorizes crude oil exports by issuing short-term orders or long-term licences. All exports of crude oil are currently authorized under short-term orders, which do not limit the volumes that can be exported from Canada. In 2016, crude oil export volumes continued a decade-long pattern of growth, increasing over 70% since 2007, from 104.1 million m³ in 2007 to 180.2 million m³ in 2016 (1.79 MMbbl/d to 3.10 MMbbl/d).

Heavy

In 2016, 74% of crude oil exported from Canada was heavy, as defined by the National Energy Board Act Part VI Exports and Imports (Oil and Gas) Regulations (Part VI Regulations). Heavy crude oil exports increased 111% since 2007, from 63.1 million m³ in 2007 to 133.1 million m³ in 2016 (1.09 MMbbl/d to 2.29 MMbbl/d).

Light

In 2016, 26% of exported crude oil was light, as defined by the Part VI Regulations. Light crude oil exports increased 15% since 2007, from 41.1 million m³ in 2007 to 47.1 million m³ in 2016 (0.71 MMbbl/d to 0.81 MMbbl/d).

Figure 1 shows heavy, light, and total crude oil exports annually. Figure 2 shows the monthly volumes exported.

Figure 1: Historical Crude Oil Export Volumes

Figure 1: Historical Crude Oil Export Volumes

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 10 March 2017: Crude Oil – Total Exports (monthly report) and Crude Oil – Total Exports per Day (yearly report)

Figure 2: Monthly Crude Oil Export Volumes

Figure 2: Monthly Crude Oil Export Volumes

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 10 March 2017: Crude Oil – Total Exports (monthly report) and Crude Oil – Total Exports per Day (yearly report)

Regional Export Volumes

Figure 3 shows gross crude oil exports from Canadian provinces to U.S. PADD regions. The left side of Figure 3 shows the provinces where the crude oil entered main export pipelines. The right side shows the U.S. regions that imported the crude oil, typically where the oil is received for processing. The flows represent the volume of crude oil exported from Canada to the U.S. Some flows are too small to be shown in Figure 3, such as the exports from Nova Scotia to the U.S., exports from Alberta to PADD I, and exports to countries other than the U.S. – approximately 1% of crude oil exports went to countries that were not the U.S.

In 2016, 85% of total exported crude oil (U.S. and non-U.S.) was injected into main export pipelines in Alberta, 4% in Manitoba, and 5% in Saskatchewan; approximately 6% of exported crude oil was shipped by marine vessel from Newfoundland and Labrador.

Canada continued to have almost complete reliance on the U.S. market for its crude oil exports. In 2016, 99% of exported crude oil went to the U.S. Since 2012, between 97% to 99% of exported crude oil has been exported to the U.S.

In 2016, the following U.S. regions received Canada’s total crude oil exports:

  • U.S. Midwest (PADD II) received 64%
  • U.S. West Coast (PADD V) received 7%
  • U.S. East Coast (PADD I) received 7%
  • U.S. Rockies (PADD IV) received 8%
  • U.S. Gulf Coast (PADD III) received 13%

Figure 3: Crude Oil Export Flows in 2016

Figure 3: Crude Oil Export Flows in 2016

Source: NEB Commodity Tracking System Statistics as of 10 March 2017: Crude Oil Exports – Summary by Type and Destination (quarterly report) and internal data

 

Figure 4 shows the historical export volumes from the provinces.

Figure 4: Historical Crude Oil Exports by Type and Province

Figure 4: Historical Crude Oil Exports by Type and Province

Source: NEB internal data as of 10 March 2017

Figure 5 shows PADD II continued to be the largest market for Canadian crude oil exports in 2016. Exports to this region have increased every year since 2012. Exports to PADD III continued to show significantly increased volumes due to new U.S. pipeline capacity reaching the Gulf Coast.Footnote 1

Figure 5: Historical Crude Oil Exports by Type and U.S. Region

Figure 5: Historical Crude Oil Exports by Type and U.S. Region

Source: NEB internal data as of 10 March 2017

Figure 6: Crude Oil Export Value and Prices

Figure 6: Crude Oil Export Value and Prices

Source: NEB internal data as of 10 March 2017

In 2016, the weighted-average crude oil export price decreased 12%, from $315.64 per m³ in 2015 to $276.57 per m³ in 2016 (Figure 6). As a result of the increased export volumes (Table 1) and decreased prices received for exports, the crude oil export value decreased 11%, from $55.8 billion in 2015 to $49.8 billion in 2016. In 2015 and 2016, a lower-valued dollar relative to the U.S. dollar also impacted export values.

Crude Oil Exports by Transportation Mode

In 2016, approximately 91% of crude oil exports moved by pipeline to the U.S. Approximately 3% was exported by rail and 5% was exported by marine vessel to the U.S. Monthly data on crude oil exports by rail is on the NEB website. Crude oil exports by rail, shown by the red bars in Figure 6, have decreased almost 50% since 2014 and 21% since 2015. Recent decreases in crude oil exports by rail are generally due to additional pipeline capacity, availability of competitively-priced alternatives to Canadian crude oil, and transportation cost differences between pipeline and rail.

Figure 7: Crude Oil Exports by Transport Mode

Figure 7: Crude Oil Exports by Transport Mode
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