Canada produced 20.4 million cubic metres (128.0 million barrels) of crude oil and equivalent products in March, up 4.3% compared with the same month in 2016.
Non-upgraded crude bitumen production increases
Year over year, the production of crude oil and equivalent products continued to rise. The increase was primarily attributable to non-upgraded crude bitumen production (up 9.8% to 8.1 million cubic metres) and, to a lesser extent, heavy crude oil (up 3.1% to 2.0 million cubic metres) and light and medium crude production (up 0.5% to 4.1 million cubic metres).
Synthetic crude oil production declined 2.3% to 4.8 million cubic metres, the first-year-over year decline since August 2016.
The increase of non-upgraded crude bitumen in March was driven by in situ production, up 13.9% from the same month in 2016 to 7.7 million cubic metres. Mined crude bitumen decreased 5.4% to 5.8 million cubic metres, while crude bitumen sent for further processing was down 2.1% to 5.5 million cubic metres.
Production of non-conventional crude oil continues to rise
In March, crude oil production (excluding equivalent products) totalled 18.9 million cubic metres. Non-conventional crude oil production, which consists of non-upgraded crude bitumen and synthetic crude oil, increased 5.0% to 12.8 million cubic metres.
Meanwhile, conventional crude production of light, medium and heavy crude oils rose 1.3% in March compared with the same month in 2016 to 6.1 million cubic metres.
Alberta production of crude oil and equivalent products rose 4.2% from March 2016 to 16.2 million cubic metres in March, accounting for 79.7% of Canada's total production. Saskatchewan produced 2.5 million cubic metres (or 12.1% of total Canadian production) while Newfoundland and Labrador produced 1.2 million cubic metres (or 5.7% of the total).
Refinery use of crude oil
Input of crude oil to Canadian refineries totalled 8.7 million cubic metres in March, up 5.2% compared with the same month in 2016. Conventional crude oil represented 65.2% of the total, while non-conventional crude oil accounted for the remaining 34.8%. Light and medium crude oil (4.8 million cubic metres) and synthetic crude oil (2.6 million cubic metres) were the main types of crude oil used by Canadian refineries.
Exports and imports
Exports of crude oil and equivalent products rose 6.8% in March compared with the same month a year earlier to 16.6 million cubic metres. The vast majority of production (89.2%) was exported via pipelines, while other means of transportation such as rail, truck and marine, accounted for the remaining 10.8%. Over the same period, imports to Canadian refineries declined 4.8% to 3.1 million cubic metres.
Closing inventories of crude oil and equivalent products were up 3.4% to 19.3 million cubic metres in March compared with the same month in 2016. The total was split between transporters (up 1.7% to 12.4 million cubic metres), refineries (up 1.3% to 4.1 million cubic metres) and fields and plants (up 15.6% to 2.8 million cubic metres).
Quarterly changes in crude oil
For the quarter ending March 31, 2017, production of crude oil and equivalent products increased 2.9% from the same quarter a year earlier to 60.9 million cubic metres. This was the second consecutive quarter where production exceeded 60 million cubic metres.
During the first quarter, exports rose 2.4% to 48.6 million cubic metres, while imports to Canadian refineries increased 10.8% to 9.0 million cubic metres.
Marketable natural gas increases
Canada produced 14.5 billion cubic metres of marketable natural gas in March, up 5.2% compared with the same month in 2016. Alberta (71.2%) and British Columbia (26.2%) accounted for most of Canadian production.
Over the same period, total consumption by residential, industrial and commercial users rose 15.4% to 9.8 billion cubic metres.
Exports of natural gas by pipeline to the United States increased 19.0% to 7.8 billion cubic metres and imports were up 17.6% to 2.4 billion cubic metres
Quarterly changes in natural gas
Canada produced 41.6 billion cubic metres of marketable natural gas in the first quarter, up 2.4% from the same quarter a year earlier. During the same period, exports rose 8.6% to 22.5 billion cubic metres, while imports were up 42.2% to 7.8 billion cubic metres.
The Toronto Stock Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the information contained herein.