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Energy supply security: Canada

Oilfield Technology,


  • Oil and gas accounted for 33% each of Canada’s total primary energy supply in 2012.
  • Canada is a significant oil net oil and natural gas exporter.
  • In 2012, total oil production averaged 3.8 million bpd.
  • Almost 40% of the oil produced domestically is exported.
  • Total Canadian oil resources are estimated at 172 billion bbls. 98% of which are in the Alberta oilsands.
  • Refiners in the eastern provinces rely on imported crude oil.
  • Canadian natural gas production exceeds demand by approximately 55%.


  • Oil demand has been relatively flat for several years and averaged 2.29 million bpd in 2012.
  • In 2012, gasoline was the biggest single source of oil product demand.
  • In 2012, Canada imported 714 000 bpd of crude oil.
  • At the end of 2012, Canada had 15 operational refineries with a total crude oil refining capacity of 1.940 million bpd.
  • Between 2003 and 2012, national refinery utilisation rates averaged 87%.
  • Canada does not have publicly held stocks and does not impose a compulsory stockholding obligation on industry.
  • Both the federal government and the provincial/territorial governments play a major role in Canada’s energy policy.
  • In certain circumstances, the federal government has the authority to take measures to reallocate energy supplies within Canada.
  • As a net exporter, Canada does not have an IEA 90 day stockholding obligation.
  • All stocks that are held in the country are done so by industry.
  • In the event of a national emergency, oil companies under the mandatory allocation programme could carry out a drawdown of industry stocks.
  • There are no fuel switching policies in place in Canada.


  • In 2012, domestic production of natural gas stood at 156.5 billion m3.
  • By 2018, production figures are forecast to drop to 154 billion m3.
  • Provincial governments have jurisdiction over upstream and downstream markets.
  • Between 1990 and 2012 demand for natural gas increased 49%.
  • In 2012, net natural gas exports totalled 56 billion m3.
  • In 2012, Canada imported just over 31 billion m3.
  • Canada became an LNG imported in June 2009.
  • Canada has a significant natural gas storage infrastructure that is usually used for servicing peak winter demand.
  • In total, Canada has approximately 23.4 billion m3 of storage capacity.
  • In a declared emergency, the federal government has considerable power to control natural gas flows.
  • Natural gas emergency response policy is generally geared towards short term rather than long term supply disruptions.

Adapted by Claira Lloyd

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