ARCHIVED – 2013 Oil Exports and Imports Summary

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  2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
Volumes (10³m³/day)
ExportsFootnote 1 415.3 372.6 340.0 311.7 291.9
Less ImportsFootnote 2 102.1 115.8 108.0 122.5 128.4
Net Exports 313.2 256.8 232.0 189.2 163.5
Average Price (Cdn$/m³)
ExportsFootnote 3 539.29 526.31 551.22 456.68 395.13
ImportsFootnote 4 703.29 701.45 692.76 515.77 442.71
Value (Cdn$ billions)
ExportsFootnote 5 81.8 71.7 68.4 52.0 42.1
ImportsFootnote 6 26.2 29.0 27.1 23.3 20.7
Net Revenue 55.6 42.7 41.3 28.7 21.4

Sources: NEB, EIA, Bank of Canada Exchange Rate, Statistics Canada (Rounded numbers)

  • The volume of crude oil exports has increased over the past 5 years, while imports have typically been on a downward trend (see Figure 2). A slight increase in imports occurred in 2012.
  • The 2013 average export price was $539.29 per m³, an increase of nearly 2.5 per cent or $12.98 per m³ from the average export price of $526.31 in 2012.
  • The 2013 average import price was $703.29 per m³, an increase of less than 0.3 per cent compared with the average import price of $701.45 per m³ in 2012.
  • Oil export revenue for 2013 was approximately $81.8 billion, an increase of $10.1 billion or 14.1 per cent from 2012. Oil export revenue has climbed over the past five years with net oil revenue in 2013 estimated at $55.6 billion.
  • The import value of oil in 2013 totaled $26.2 billion, a decrease of $2.8 billion or 9.6 per cent from 2012.

Figure 1: Canadian Oil Export Volumes, 2004-2013

Figure 1: Canadian Oil Export Volumes, 2004-2013

Source: NEB (Rounded numbers)

  • Oil exports increased in 2013 compared with 2012, growing by 37.3 thousand cubic metres per day (m³/d), which is equivalent to roughly 234.6 thousand barrels per day (bbl/d). This is an increase of over 11.4 per cent.
  • Oil exports continued a decade-long pattern of growth, with 2013 exports at 415.3 thousand m³/d (approximately 2.6 million bbl/d), growing from 258.9 thousand m³/d (roughly 1.6 million bbl/d) in 2004; an increase of approximately 60.4 per cent.

Figure 2: Canadian Oil Import Volumes, 2004-2013

Figure 2: Canadian Oil Import Volumes, 2004-2013

Sources: EIA Data, Statistics Canada Data, NEB (Rounded numbers)

  • Oil imports into Canada decreased by 11.8 per cent in 2013 compared with 2012, to 102.1 thousand m³/d (643.2 thousand bbl/d).
  • Oil imports have been on a downward trend for the past decade, with the exception of 2012. The increase in 2012 oil imports was due to additional imports of diluent and/or condensate (light oils) to facilitate movement of heavier oil in pipeline transportation systems.

Figure 3: Oil Net Export Volumes, 2004-2013

Figure 3: Oil Net Export Volumes, 2004-2013

Source: NEB (Rounded numbers)Figure 4: Export Volumes by Destination, 2004-2013

  • In 2013 net oil exports were 313.2 thousand m³/d (1.9 million bbl/d), an increase of more than 21.9 per cent over 2012 levels.
  • Over the past decade, net oil exports have increased 184.2 per cent. Net exports have been on an upward trend, rising from 110.2 thousand m³/d in 2004 (0.7 million bbl/d) to 313.2 thousand m³/d in 2013 (1.9 million bbl/d).

Figure 4: Export Volumes by Destination, 2004-2013

Source: NEB (Rounded numbers)

  • In 2013 Canadian oil exports to the US East Coast (PADD I) increased 2.0 million m³ (12.6 million barrels) compared with 2012. PADD I’s market share of Canada’s crude oil exports was 7.6 per cent, up from seven per cent in 2012.
  • The US Midwest (PADD II) continued to be the largest market for crude oil exports. The region received a total of 103.0 million m³ (649.5 million barrels) which is 68.0 per cent of Canada’s total crude oil exports. This represents an increase of just under 9.4 million m³ (59.2 million barrels).
  • The US Gulf Coast (PADD III) showed a small increase in exports compared with 2012. In 2013, 4.7 per cent or 7.0 million m³ (44.5 million barrels) of Canada’s crude oil exports were transported to this market. In 2013, PADD IV (US Rockies) showed slight growth compared with 2012, with oil exports totaling over 13.7 million m³ (86.6 million barrels). The market share for PADD IV was approximately 9.1 per cent of Canada’s crude oil exports.
  • In 2013 exports to the US West Coast (PADD V) increased by 752 thousand m³ (4.7 million barrels), or 6.7 per cent compared with 2012. PADD V’s market share of Canada’s crude oil exports was 7.5 per cent.
  • Non-USA exports in 2013 totaled 4.8 million m³ (30.3 million barrels), more than double the amount exported in 2012. In 2013, the Non-USA market share of Canada’s crude oil exports grew by 3.2 per cent.


The 2013 oil market was characterized by a shift in transportation systems, with a significant increase in rail movements for export as well as domestic use. Canadian crude oil exports by rail in 2013 continued to climb, to approximately 7.4 million m³ (46.7 million barrels), more than double the volume in 2012.

To access new markets, pipeline projects to the East, West and South were being considered, as well as other forms of transportation including rail and marine vessels. The existing pipeline capacity was fully utilized and lengthening timelines for additional pipeline capacity resulted in an increase in the use of other modes of transportation.Footnote 7 Increased transportation of crude oil by rail and a number of derailments led to the review of regulations around transporting combustible liquids. One incident that was particularly devastating was the derailment in Lac- Mégantic, Quebec. In July 2013, a train carrying Bakken crude oil derailed, causing a fire and explosion, and resulted in the death of 47 people. This incident was the deadliest non-passenger train accident since Canadian Confederation.

In terms of conventional and unconventional crude oil, there were continued technological advances made and increased use of horizontal and multi-stage fracturing drilling techniques, as well as new innovations in the oil sands industry. This resulted in production growth in areas where it was previously deemed uneconomic. Average world crude oil prices remained stable in 2013, as they have for the past few years.

In 2013, China topped the United States to become the largest importer of crude oil. Nearly 33 per cent of global oil demand growth was attributed to China.Footnote 8 As well, the shale revolution this year put the United States in first place as the world’s leader in oil production, which has had a significant impact on global oil trade. While the United States was still the largest consumer of fuel, the availability of a significant amount of inexpensive crude from shale plays provided for increased exports of refined products such as gasoline and distillates.Footnote 9

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