Canadian production of crude oil and equivalent products continued at a robust pace in August as production totalled 23.6 million cubic metres (148.6 million barrels), up 9.6 per cent compared with the same month in 2017, says Statistics Canada.
And Alberta produced a record 19.5 million cubic metres of crude oil and equivalent products in August, up 9.9 per cent from the same month a year earlier. Alberta (82.6 per cent), Saskatchewan (10.3 per cent) and Newfoundland and Labrador (4.7 per cent) accounted for the vast majority of Canadian production.
“Non-upgraded production of crude bitumen set a new high of 9.8 million cubic metres (+15.2 per cent) in August and was the primary contributor to the overall increase. This was up from the previous record of 9.3 million cubic metres set in July. Non-upgraded crude bitumen production consisted of mined crude bitumen (+11.7 per cent), plus in-situ crude bitumen (+2.1 per cent), minus crude bitumen sent for further processing (-4.1 per cent),” said the federal agency on Friday.
“In August, for the second month in a row, synthetic crude oil production declined year over year (-3.9 per cent). Light and medium crude oil rose 15.3 per cent, while heavy crude oil edged up 0.2 per cent. Meanwhile, production of equivalent products rose 28.6 per cent to reach a record high 1.9 million cubic metres.”
StatsCan said monthly production of crude oil and equivalent products averaged 21.7 million cubic metres in the first eight months of 2018, up 8.8 per cent compared with the same period in 2017.
“Crude oil production (excluding equivalent products) totalled 21.7 million cubic metres in August, up 8.2 per cent from the same month a year earlier.
“Oil sands extraction, which consists of non-upgraded crude bitumen and synthetic crude oil, increased 7.4 per cent from August 2017 to 15.4 million cubic metres. Over the same period, extraction of light, medium and heavy crude oils rose 10.0 per cent to 6.3 million cubic metres.”
Statistics Canada said exports of crude oil and equivalent products were up 12.0 per cent to 17.9 million cubic metres in August. Exports to the United States by pipelines rose 4.0 per cent, to 15.3 million cubic metres. Exports by other means, including rail, truck and marine, continued to increase, and for the first eight months of 2018 were on average 40.1 per cent higher per month than the same time period in 2017.
“Imports of crude oil to refineries, which tend to be volatile, ended a seven-month, year-over-year downward trend. Imports to refineries rose 51.7 per cent to 3.3 million cubic metres from the previous August.”
Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.