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Crude oil: Canada

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


  • There are 173 billion bbls of proven oil reserves in Canada.
  • The oilsands hold 167 billion bbls of Canada’s total crude oil reserves.
  • Canadian crude oil production is expected to increase to 6.4 million bpd to 2030.
  • The oilsands are driving oil production growth however, bitumen upgrading is not likely to increase with production due to economic challenges.
  • There are currently five bitumen upgraders in Alberta.
  • Oilsands production is expected to increase to 4.8 million bpd by 2030.
  • Multiple domestic and global markets are showing increasing interest in crude oil from Western Canada.
  • Production in Eastern Canada is currently stable but is expected to decrease by 2030.
  • At the moment crude production in Western Canada is at 1.3 million bpd.
  • Crude production in Western Canada is expected to increase to 1.5 million bpd by 2030.
  • By 2030, condensate production is expected to account for 170 000 bpd.
  • To 2030, average annual growth of oilsands production is expected to be 170 000 bpd.
  • Oilsands mining is expected to increase to 1.6 million bpd to 2030.
  • Insitu oilsands production is expected to increase to 3.2 million bpd to 2030.
  • Eastern Canada accounted for 7% of total crude oil production in Canada last year.


  • Last year, Canadian refineries processed 905 000 bpd of crude oil from Western Canada.
  • Canadian refineries have a total crude oil processing capacity of 1.9 million bpd.
  • 90% of crude oil requirements at refineries in Quebec and Atlantic Canada are imported.
  • Ontario refineries have moved their main source of crude oil feedstocks to Western Canada.


  • Canada is the top foreign supplier of crude oil to the US.
  • US Gulf Coast refineries are forecast to be supplied with 680 000 bpd of crude oil from Canadian producers by 2020.
  • CAPP expect the US Midwest to remain Canada’s largest export market.
  • Canadian crude oil supplied to refineries in Washington and California is expected to double to 392 000 bpd.
  • Oil producing regions in Western Canada have limited access to global crude oil markets.
  • Asia and Europe are showing interest in Canadian crude oil.
  • It was reported that in May 2014, the first shipment of oilsands crude was sent to Spain for processing in Spanish refineries.


  • Pipelines are the main mode of transportation for crude oil in Canada.
  • There are currently four major pipelines in Canada.
  • Rail is increasingly becoming a popular choice for crude oil transportation in Canada by producers.
  • The long term viability of rail is due to its flexibility to deliver to multiple destinations.
  • By 2016, CAPP forecast that approximately 700 000 bpd of crude oil could be transported to markets by rail.

Source: CAPP report.

Adapted by Claira Lloyd

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