Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles – Canada
Figure 1: Hydrocarbon Production
Source and Description:
This graph shows hydrocarbon production in Canada from 2007 to 2017. Over this period, crude oil production grew from 2.8 MMb/d to 4.4 MMb/d, with all growth coming from the oil sands. Natural gas production deceased from 17 Bcf/d to 16 Bcf/d.
Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2017)
Figure 3: Electricity Capacity and Primary Fuel Sources Map
Source and Description:
NEB, Quilliq Energy Corporation, Northwest Territories Power Corporation, Yukon Energy Corporation, Natural Resources Canada
This map shows electricity generation facilities in Canada. Facilities are shown by capacity and by primary fuel source.
PDF version [2820 KB]
Figure 4: Crude Oil Infrastructure Map
Source and Description:
This map shows all major crude oil pipelines and rail lines in Canada
PDF version [1822 KB]
Figure 5: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map
Source and Description:
This map shows all major natural gas pipelines in Canada.
PDF version [2480 KB]
Figure 6: End-Use Demand by Sector (2016)
Source and Description:
This pie chart shows end-use energy demand in Canada by sector. Total end-use energy demand was 11 150 PJ in 2016. The largest sector was industrial at 52% of total demand, followed by transportation (at 23%), residential (at 13%), and lastly, commercial (at 12%).
Figure 7: End-Use Demand by Fuel (2016)
Source and Description:
This figure shows end-use demand by fuel type in Canada in 2016. Refined petroleum products accounted for 4 677 PJ (43%) of demand, followed by natural gas at 3 898 PJ (35%), electricity at 1 884 PJ (17%), biofuels at 549 PJ (5%), and other at 142 PJ (1%).
Note: "Other" includes coal, coke, and coke oven gas.
Figure 8: GHG Emissions by Sector
Source and Description:
This stacked column graph shows GHG emissions in Canada every five years from 1990 to 2016 in MT of CO2e. Total GHG emissions have increased in Canada from 603 MT of CO2e in 1990 to 704 MT of CO2e in 2016.
- Canada produced approximately 4.4 million barrels per day (MMb/d) of crude oil in 2017, an increase of 47% from 2010 (Figure 1). This ranked Canada as the 4th largest oil producer in the world.
- Canadian production is centered in western Canada, which accounted for 95% of total production in 2017. The remaining 5% was produced mostly in Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Canada’s crude oil goes primarily to export markets. In 2017, Canada exported an average of 3.3 MMb/d – a 6.5% increase since 2016 and a 68% increase since 2010.
- Canada holds some of the largest oil reserves in the world, surpassed only by Venezuela and Saudi Arabia as of 2017.
Refined Petroleum Products (RPPs)
- RPPs are a range of products that are refined from crude oil, such as gasoline, diesel, heating oil, and jet fuel. RPPs are the largest type of energy consumed by end-users in Canada.
- Canada has 17 refineries with a total capacity of 1.97 MMb/d. Alberta has the largest share of refining capacity (28%), followed by Ontario (20%), Quebec (20%), New Brunswick (15%), Saskatchewan (8%), and Newfoundland and Labrador (6%).
- The Sturgeon Refinery in Redwater, Alberta is Canada’s first refinery to be constructed since 1984.
- In 2017, Canadian refineries operated on average at 91% of capacity and consumed 1.8 MMb/d of crude oil.
Natural Gas/Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs)
- In 2017, total Canadian natural gas production averaged 15.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) (Figure 1).
- Alberta and British Columbia (B.C.) accounted for almost 97% of Canadian production. Smaller amounts of natural gas are produced in Saskatchewan, offshore Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Northwest Territories (NWT).
- In 2017, production of natural gas liquids (NGLs) from gas processing plants was 929 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d). The majority of this production (86%) was from Alberta, while B.C. produced 12%, and Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia both produced around 1%. Canadian refineries produced an additional 47 Mb/d of propane and butane in 2017.
Electricity and Renewables
- In 2017, Canada produced 650.2 terawatt hours (TW.h) of electricity. More than half of the electricity in Canada (60%) is generated from hydro sources. The remainder is produced from a variety of sources, including natural gas, nuclear, wind, coal, biomass, solar, and petroleum (Figure 2).
- Canadian regulation of the electricity sector occurs primarily at the provincial level. This includes most policies related to pricing as well as the types of power generation used.
- Either publicly- or privately-owned utilities, or a mix of the two in the case of Alberta and Ontario, generate and distribute most of the electricity in Canada. Deregulated wholesale electricity markets exist only in Alberta and Ontario. Deregulated wholesale pricing is determined by supply and demand forces.
- Different jurisdictions use different sources of power generation (Figure 3). B.C, Manitoba, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Yukon each generate over 80% of their electricity from hydroelectricity. Ontario, New Brunswick, and NWT rely on various combinations of nuclear, hydro, wind, biomass, coal, natural gas, and petroleum – although not all provinces use all of them. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Nunavut generate the majority of their electricity from fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, or petroleum.
- Generation from wind farms and solar photovoltaic panels grew from a negligible amount in 2005 to over 5% of total electricity generation in 2017. Canada ranks 9th in the world for wind installations and 9th in the world for solar installations.
- The majority of the wind facilities in Canada are located in Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta. Ontario is home to over 99% of Canada’s solar installations.
- Canada is a world leader in uranium production, accounting for 22% of global production in 2017. Approximately 85% of Canadian production is exported, with the remaining 15% used to fuel reactors in Ontario and New Brunswick.
- Saskatchewan is currently the only uranium producing province in Canada. The McArthur River-Key Lake mine in northern Saskatchewan is the largest uranium producing mine in the world. Uranium was previously mined in Ontario and NWT as well.
- The world’s largest uranium refinery is operated by Cameco and located in Blind River, Ontario. Refined uranium is then shipped to conversion facilities for further manufacturing into fuel.
Energy Transportation and Trade
Crude Oil and Liquids
- Canada’s large pipeline system serves both domestic refineries and export markets (Figure 4). The NEB regulates all interprovincial and international crude oil pipelines.
- In 2017, Canada exported 2.55 MMb/d of heavy crude oil and 0.77 MMb/d of light crude oil. The total value Canada’s crude oil exports in 2017 was $66.86 billion.
- In 2016, Canada imported 0.6 MMb/d of primarily light crude oil. All imports were received in eastern Canada.
- The majority of Canada’s crude oil exports are moved by four pipelines: the Enbridge Mainline, TransCanada’s Keystone, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain, and Enbridge’s Express.
- Nearly two-thirds of Canadian crude exports are delivered to its largest and most important market – the Midwest United States (U.S.). Canada’s fastest growing market is the U.S. Gulf Coast. Canadian exports have more than tripled to the Gulf Coast since 2013.
- In 2018, Canada had 22 crude oil rail loading facilities in operation. All facilities were located in western Canada and have an estimated total capacity of 1.2 MMb/d.
- There are six rail offloading facilities in Canada with an estimated total capacity of 0.3 MMb/d. Two of these terminals are located in B.C., three are in Quebec, and one is in New Brunswick.
- In 2017, rail transported approximately 4% of Canadian crude oil exports and around 5% of the domestic and imported crude oil consumed by Canadian refineries.
- Alberta supplies RPPs to the Prairies through the Enbridge Mainline and to B.C. through the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Alberta also supplies RPPs to neighbouring provinces by rail and truck.
- Quebec delivers petroleum products primarily to Ontario via the Trans-Northern Pipeline, Canada’s largest interprovincial RPP pipeline, and by rail, ship, and truck.
- Canadian refineries produced approximately 7% more RPPs than required domestically in 2017. However, differences in provincial refining capacity and demand create the need for interprovincial transfers and trade with the U.S.
- Exports of Canadian RPPs are primarily from the Atlantic refineries, though small volumes are exported to the U.S. from all Canadian regions.
- Quebec, Ontario, and the Atlantic provinces are the primary importing regions for RPPs.
- In 2017, Canada exported an average of 8.2 Bcf/d to the U.S. Canada also imported 2.4 Bcf/d in 2017. The value of natural gas exports less imports in 2017 was $6.7 billion.
- The vast majority of Canadian natural gas produced is exported to the U.S. via pipelines while a very small amount is exported via truck as LNG.
- Canada has a vast network of natural gas pipelines (Figure 5). Natural gas generally flows from production areas in western Canada to higher demand markets in central Canada and the U.S. The TransCanada Mainline is the primary long-haul natural gas pipeline in Canada, extending from the NGTL system at the Alberta/Saskatchewan border to the Quebec border. Several other interprovincial and international pipelines regulated by the NEB also transport Canadian gas to markets. These include Alliance, Westcoast, Foothills, Trans-Quebec and Maritimes, Maritimes and Northeast, and Emera Brunswick.
- Several bi-directional pipelines in Ontario allow for the import of natural gas during periods of peak demand.
- There is approximately 949 Bcf of underground natural gas storage available in Canada. About 58% of this storage capacity is located throughout Alberta, with the remainder located near Sarnia, Ontario. Natural gas storage is used to provide supply to consuming regions during peak winter demand.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
- Since 2011, the NEB has approved 26 LNG export licence applications. LNG export projects have been proposed for both the West and East Coasts of Canada. Two of the proposed LNG export facilities have reached a positive final investment decision: LNG Canada in Kitimat, B.C., and Woodfibre LNG in Squamish, B.C. First shipments of LNG are expected in the mid-2020s from Canada LNG, and in 2023 for Woodfibre LNG.
- Canada has one LNG import terminal – the Canaport terminal in New Brunswick. Canaport began operating in 2009 and has a natural gas delivery capacity of 1.2 Bcf/d, but actual volumes have been much lower.
- Several provinces and territories house small-scale LNG facilities for a variety of uses, including transportation (including marine and fleet vehicles) and power generation. LNG is also used for providing natural gas during demand peaks (for example, in Delta, B.C.; Sudbury, Ontario; and Montreal, Quebec).
- Canada is a net exporter of electricity. In 2017, net exports (all to the U.S.) reached a record high 62.8 TW.h, or about 10% of Canada’s electricity production.
- The total value of Canada’s electricity exports was $2.9 billion and the value of imports was $240 million, resulting in 2017 net exports of $2.7 billion. The bulk of electricity trade occurs between the U.S. and the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and B.C.
- Electricity trade most frequently occurs in a north-south direction, between provinces and states, rather than in an east-west direction between provinces.
Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
Total Energy Consumption
- End-use demand in Canada was 11 150 petajoules (PJ) in 2016. The largest sector for energy demand was industrial at 52% of total demand, followed by transportation at 23%, residential at 13% and commercial at 12% (Figure 6).
- RPPs were the largest fuel type consumed in Canada in 2016, accounting for 4 677 PJ, or 42% of consumption. Natural gas and electricity accounted for 3 898 PJ (35%) and 1 884 PJ (17%), respectively (Figure 7).
Refined Petroleum Products
- Total demand in Canada for RPPs in 2017 was 1.8 MMb/d. The primary products consumed were gasoline and diesel, accounting for 44% and 29% of total RPP consumption, respectively. Other products, including heavy fuel oil, asphalt, and lubricants accounted for the remaining 27%.
- Canadians are some of the highest consumers of oil and refined products in the world. Per capita consumption of RPPs in 2017 was 2 886 litres (or 18.1 barrels). RPP consumption was highest in NWT at 8 053 litres per capita, and lowest in Ontario at 2 298 litres per capita.
- On average, a “representative tank” of Canadian gasoline consists of 70% gasoline refined in the province where it is consumed, 20% gasoline refined in another province, and 10% imported gasoline. However, significant regional differences exist. For example, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and the territories have no refineries and all of the gasoline consumed there is produced elsewhere.
- Gasoline in western Canada and Ontario is primarily produced with western Canadian crude oil, while gasoline in Quebec and Atlantic Canada is produced using a mix of western Canadian, offshore Atlantic Canadian, and imported crude oils.
- Growing production, new pipeline capacity, and new rail offloading facilities in eastern Canada has allowed western Canadian and U.S. crude oil to increasingly displace overseas imports in eastern Canadian markets.
- Canada consumed an average of 10.1 Bcf/d of natural gas in 2017. The largest consumers of natural gas were Alberta at 5.2 Bcf/d, followed by Ontario and B.C. at 2.2 Bcf/d and 0.9 Bcf/d, respectively.
- Canada’s largest consuming sector for natural gas was the industrial sector, which consumed 6.7 Bcf/d in 2017. The commercial and residential sectors consumed 1.8 Bcf/d and 1.6 Bcf/d, respectively.
- In 2016, annual electricity consumption per capita in Canada was 14.9 megawatt hours (MW.h). Quebec ranked the highest for annual electricity consumption at 20.8 MW.h per capita, and Nunavut ranked the lowest at 2.9 MW.h per capita.
- Canada’s largest consuming sector for electricity in 2016 was industrial at 233.6 TW.h. The residential and commercial sectors consumed 164.0 TW.h and 125.0 TW.h, respectively. The transportation sector consumed a negligible amount. Canadian electricity demand has grown only 3% since 2005.
- Canada’s GHG emissions in 2015 were 704.1 megatonnes (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Canada’s emissions have increased 17% since 1990.Footnote 1
- Canada’s per capita emissions were 19.4 tonnes CO2e in 2016.
- Canada’s share of world cumulative GHG emissions has been below 2.0% since 1990. Despite this low share, Canada ranks 2nd for GHG emissions per capita in developed nations, after Australia.
- The largest sector for GHG emissions in Canada is oil and gas production, which emitted 182.7 MT CO2e in 2016. Transportation was the 2nd largest emitter with 173.4 MT CO2e, followed by industries and manufacturing at 97.4 MT, and electricity at 78.6 MT (Figure 8).
- Of the 182.7 MT CO2e emitted by the oil and gas sector in 2016, 160.6 MT were attributable to production, processing, and transmission and 22.1 MT were attributable to petroleum refining and natural gas distribution.
- Canada’s GHG emissions from power generation declined 34% between 2000 and 2016. The vast majority of this reduction came from Ontario’s phase-out of coal-fired generation. Between 2000 and 2016, Ontario’s GHG emissions from electricity declined from 43.4 MT CO2e to 4.6 MT.
- Saskatchewan and Alberta are the provinces with the highest emissions from power generation. In 2016, Alberta generated 58% of Canada’s total GHG emissions from power generation and Saskatchewan accounted for 19%.
- NEB – Annual Crude Oil Exports Summary
- NEB – Annual Electricity Exports and Imports Summary
- NEB – Annual Natural Gas Exports and Imports Summary
- NEB – Crude Oil and Petroleum Products Statistics & Analysis
- Natural Resources Canada
- Environment and Climate Change Canada
- Environment and Climate Change Canada – Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory
- Canadian Gas Association
- Canadian Electricity Association
- Canadian Wind Energy Association
- Canadian Solar Industries Association
- Canadian Fuels Association
- Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
- Canadian Energy Pipeline Association
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canada’s market and regulatory structures have kept Canadians well supplied with natural gas
- NEB – Market Snapshot: How much CO2 do electric vehicles, hybrids and gasoline vehicles emit?
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canadian innovations continue to shape the future of energy
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canadian Coal Production Continues to Decline
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Crypto-currency mining is booming in Canada. Here is why.
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Investment in Canada’s oil and gas sector declined from 2014 high
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Why does Canada import natural gas, while being a major exporter? Location, location, location!
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canada’s 1st refinery in over 30 years comes online near Edmonton, Alberta with greener technology
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Which cities have the highest solar potential in Canada?
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canadian gasoline prices rise to highest level in over 3 years
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Where does Canada store natural gas?
- NEB – Market Snapshot: What is the difference between Canadian and U.S. benchmark crudes?
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canadian propane exports to Mexico leap eight-fold in 2017
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canada’s refining capacity increases, despite fewer refineries
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canada’s LNG imports dropped 88% since 2011
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Natural gas coming into Canada from New York, U.S.
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Why do Canadians use so much oil?
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canada’s historical GHG emissions
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Industry shapes energy use across Canada
- NEB – Market Snapshot: How have expectations for Canada’s fossil fuel use and crude oil production changed?
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canada's energy use grows, but energy intensity declines
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canada expected to use less fossil fuels starting in 2020
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canada’s electricity sector will get even greener
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canadian crude oil import from the U.S. decline in 2016, overseas imports increase
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canadian crude exports reach new highs towards the end of 2016
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canada’s role in meeting U.S. crude oil and natural gas demand
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canada’s power generation: Switching from coal to natural gas
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canada’s global ranking in renewable power generation
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Reliance of Canadian energy producers on U.S. markets varies by commodity
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canada’s nuclear energy output ranked 6th in the world
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Canada’s electricity exports rise to record levels in 2016, but revenue declines
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Some Canadian provinces have already met their 2030 GHG emissions targets
- NEB – Market Snapshot: Why do gasoline prices differ across Canada?
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