By October 18, 2017 Read More →

Canadian energy imports growing again, oil biggest import – NEB


Alberta Sturgeon Refinery construction. Crude oil share of imports largest contributor

Crude oil largest contributor to energy imports into Canada

Energy imports and exports are important and growing components of Canada’s international trade, according to a market snapshot from the National Energy Board.

Although Canada exports far more energy than it imports, it still imports a considerable amount.

As shown in the figure below, quarterly energy imports have increased seven-fold over the last 30 years from $4.8 billion to $33.6 billion, while overall imports increased five-fold over the same period.


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The value of Canadian energy imports also changed in composition from 1987 to 2017.

  • Natural gas’s share of imports, by dollar value, increased from 3 per cent of the total imports in 1987 to 14 per cent in 2017. This increase corresponds with increased gas production in the U.S. which resulted in more imports into Ontario and Quebec.
  • Refined petroleum products’ share of imports, by dollar value, increased from 9 per cent in 1987 to 26 per cent in 2017, with the growth primarily in the last 15 years. This corresponds with closures of several refineries: the Petro-Canada Oakville refinery which closed in 2005, the Shell Montreal East refinery which closed in 2010, and the Imperial Oil Dartmouth refinery which closed in 2013, which resulted in the need to import more refined products.
  • The share of the value of imports coming from electricity and other energy products has declined as natural gas and RPP import values have increased.

The share of crude oil imports has decreased over time, however crude oil remains the largest contributor to energy imports into Canada.

This is because light crude oil is imported into eastern Canada to be used in refineries not configured to run Canadian heavy crude or that do not have pipeline access to western Canadian crude oil.


Posted in: Canada

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