Canadian production of crude oil and equivalent products totalled 264.6 million cubic metres in 2018, up 8.5 per cent from the previous year, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported on Monday that non-upgraded production of crude bitumen (+12.7 per cent) was the main contributor to the overall rise. Since January 2016, the average annual growth rate in mined production (+13.2 per cent) outpaced that of in-situ production (+6.6 per cent).

“Among the other types of crude oil production, synthetic (+2.9 per cent), light and medium (+8.6 per cent), and equivalent products (+17.7 per cent) were up from 2017. Meanwhile, production of heavy crude oil decreased 1.6 per cent,” explained StatCan.

“Canada exported 211.9 million cubic metres of crude oil and equivalent products in 2018 (+10.0% from 2017), which represented 80.1 per cent of total production. Exports via pipelines to the United States (+5.3 per cent), was the primary contributor to the overall increase.

“Exports to the U.S. by other means totalled 22.0 million cubic metres, up 24.5 per cent from 2017. Higher growth in the second half of 2018 was the pivotal contributor to the overall annual increase. Exports to other countries more than tripled the 2017 volume to 7.6 million cubic metres, primarily due to increased exports departing from Newfoundland and Labrador.”

The federal agency also said Canadian marketable natural gas production totalled 172.7 billion cubic metres in 2018, 3.9 per cent higher than in 2017. Over the same period, exports of natural gas from Canada to the United States decreased 5.2 per cent to 80.3 billion cubic metres, while imports declined 11.0 per cent to 21.6 billion cubic metres.

According to StatsCan, Alberta (81.8 per cent), Saskatchewan (10.3 per cent) and Newfoundland and Labrador (5.1 per cent) accounted for the majority of Canadian production of crude oil and equivalent products in December.

Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary. He writes for Calgary’s Business.

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