Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles – Ontario

Ontario

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Table of Contents
  • Figure 1: Hydrocarbon Production

    Figure 1: Hydrocarbon Production

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER – Canada's Energy Future 2019

    Description:
    This graph shows hydrocarbon production in Ontario from 2008 to 2018. Over this period, crude oil production has decreased from 1.7 Mb/d to 0.5 Mb/d. Natural gas production has deceased from 19.1 MMcf/d to 8.5 MMcf/d.

  • Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2018)

    Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2018)

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER – Canada's Energy Future 2019

    Description:
    This pie chart shows electricity generation by source in Ontario. A total of 151.1 TW.h of electricity was generated in 2018.

  • Figure 3: Electricity Capacity and Primary Fuel Sources Map

    Figure 3: Electricity Capacity and Primary Fuel Sources Map

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER, Natural Resources Canada

    Description:
    This map shows electricity generation facilities in Ontario. Facilities are shown by capacity and by primary fuel source.

    Download:
    PDF version [1961 KB]

  • Figure 4: Crude Oil Infrastructure Map

    Figure 4: Crude Oil Infrastructure Map

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER

    Description:
    This map shows all major crude oil pipelines, rail lines, and refineries in Ontario.

    Download:
    PDF version [506 KB]

  • Figure 5: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map

    Figure 5: Natural Gas Infrastructure Map

     

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER

    Description:
    This map shows all major natural gas pipelines in Ontario.

    Download:
    PDF version [719 KB]

  • Figure 6: End-Use Demand by Sector (2017)

    Figure 6: End-Use Demand by Sector (2017)

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER – Canada's Energy Future 2019

    Description:
    This pie chart shows end-use energy demand in Ontario by sector. Total end-use energy demand was 3 012 PJ in 2017. The largest sector was industrial at 37% of total demand, followed by transportation (at 29%), residential (at 18%), and lastly, commercial (at 16%).

  • Figure 7: End-Use Demand by Fuel (2017)

    Figure 7: End-use Demand by Fuel (2017)

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    CER – Canada's Energy Future 2019

    Description:
    This figure shows end-use demand by fuel type in Ontario in 2017. Refined petroleum products accounted for 1 452 PJ (48%) of demand, followed by natural gas at 852 PJ (28%), electricity at 481 PJ (16%), biofuels at 129 PJ (4%), and other at 121 PJ (4%).

    Note: "Other" includes coal, coke, and coke oven gas.

  • Figure 8: GHG Emissions by Sector

     

    Figure 8: GHG Emissions by Sector

    Source and Description:

    Source:
    Environment and Climate Change Canada – National Inventory Report

    Description:
    This stacked column graph shows GHG emissions in Ontario by sector every five years from 1990 to 2017 in MT of CO2e. Total GHG emissions have decreased in Ontario from 180.0 MT of CO2e in 1990 to 158.7 MT of CO2e in 2017.

Energy Production

Crude Oil

  • Ontario produced 500 barrels per day of light oil in 2018 (Figure 1). Ontario’s production represents less than 0.1% of total Canadian oil production (including condensate and pentanes plus).
  • All of Ontario’s oil production occurs in southwestern Ontario.
  • Ontario is home to Canada’s first commercial oil production when oil was discovered near Black Creek (later renamed Oil Springs) in 1858. Large oil deposits were discovered in the 1860s in Petrolia, just north of Oil Springs.
  • Ontario’s remaining resource of crude oil is estimated to be 11.0 million barrels when production to year-end 2018 is subtracted.

Refined Petroleum Products (RPPs)

  • Ontario has four refineries: Imperial Oil, Suncor, and Shell in Sarnia, and Imperial Oil in Nanticoke. These refineries have a total capacity of 393 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d), which gives Ontario the 2nd largest refining capacity after Alberta and accounts for 20% of total Canadian refining capacity.
  • Western Canada supplied the majority of the crude oil used by Ontario’s refineries in 2018. Imports from the United States (U.S.) accounted for about 10% of total crude oil consumed by Ontario’s refineries.

Natural Gas/Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs)

  • In 2018, natural gas production in Ontario averaged 8.4 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) (Figure 1). Ontario’s production represented less than 0.1% of total Canadian natural gas production in 2018.
  • Natural gas is produced in southwestern Ontario near Sarnia.
  • Ontario’s remaining resource of recoverable, sales-quality natural gas is estimated to be 665 billion cubic feet (Bcf) at year-end 2018.
  • The Sarnia NGL fractionator is one of the main sources of propane and butanes for Eastern Canada. It processes NGL mix delivered from western Canada by the Enbridge Mainline (Lines 1 and 5).
  • There is no field production of NGLs in Ontario. Small volumes of propane and butanes are produced in Ontario’s refineries.

Electricity

  • In 2018, Ontario generated 151 terawatt hours (TW.h) of electricity (Figure 2), which is approximately 23% of total Canadian generation. Ontario is the 2nd largest producer of electricity in Canada and has a generating capacity of 40 671 megawatts (MW).
  • In 2018, about 96% of electricity in Ontario is produced from zero-carbon emitting sources: 60% from nuclear, 26% from hydroelectricity, 7% from wind, and 2% from solar. The remainder is primarily from natural gas, with some biomass. Ontario’s electricity generating capacity is primarily located in the southern portion of the province with significant hydro generating stations located in eastern Ontario in the Ottawa River basin and northeastern Ontario in the Moose River basin (Figure 3).
  • Three nuclear power plants with a combined 12 633 MW of installed capacity provide the bulk of Ontario’s baseload generation. Bruce Power on the east shore of Lake Huron is the largest, with eight generation units and a capacity of about 6 600 MW. It is one of the largest nuclear power plants currently operating in the world.
  • Ontario has over 200 hydroelectricity generation facilities with a total capacity of
    9 251 MW.
  • Ontario leads Canada in wind capacity. About 5 061 MW of wind capacity was added between 2005 and 2018.
  • About 98% of solar capacity in Canada is installed in Ontario. In 2018, solar in Ontario had a total capacity of 2 871 MW.
  • Ontario has the largest 100% biomass-fueled plant in North America. The 205 MW Atikokan Generating Station was converted from coal in 2014.
  • Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is the largest utility in Ontario’s competitive electricity market, with over 16 600 MW of capacity.

Energy Transportation and Trade

Crude Oil and Liquids

  • Sarnia is the major oil refining and petrochemical hub in Ontario. Sarnia receives crude oil and NGLs from Western Canada and North Dakota via Enbridge’s Lines 5 and 78, which have capacities of 540 Mb/d and 500 Mb/d, respectively (Figure 4).
  • Enbridge’s Lines 9 and 7 run eastwards from Sarnia to supply refineries in eastern Ontario and Quebec. Line 9, which is not part of the Enbridge Mainline System, has a capacity of 300 Mb/d and transports crude oil to Westover, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec. Line 7 has a capacity of 180 Mb/d and also delivers crude oil to Westover. At Westover, both pipelines interconnect with Enbridge’s Line 10 and Line 11.
  • Line 11 has a capacity of 117 Mb/d and supplies Imperial Oil’s Nanticoke refinery.
  • Line 10 has a capacity of 74 Mb/d and delivers crude oil to the United Refining Company’s refinery in Warren, Pennsylvania via United’s Kiantone Pipeline in New York. United’s subsidiary Westover Express is in the process of acquiring Line 10 from Enbridge.
  • The Trans-Northern Pipeline delivers refined petroleum products, such as gasoline and diesel, from refineries in Montreal, Quebec with major markets and distribution centres in Ontario, including delivery points in Ottawa, Kingston, Belleville, Oshawa, Toronto, and Oakville. The pipeline operates bi-directionally between Toronto and Oakville. The Trans-Northern Pipeline also transports RPPs from Imperial Oil’s Nanticoke refinery eastward to Toronto. Total receipts on the pipeline were 170 Mb/d in 2018, and have been generally been declining over the past decade.
  • There are two ethane-importing pipelines in Ontario. Energy Transfer’s 50 Mb/d Mariner West Pipeline ships ethane from the Marcellus producing region in Southwestern Pennsylvania to the Canada/U.S border, and continues on the Genesis Pipeline to NOVA Chemical’s petrochemical complex in Corunna, Ontario. The 50 Mb/d Utopia Pipeline ships ethane from Harrison County, Ohio to Windsor, Ontario.
  • Imperial Oil’s Nanticoke refinery has a rail terminal with an estimated crude oil offloading capacity of 20 Mb/d.

Natural Gas

  • TC Energy’s (formerly TransCanada) Canadian Mainline begins at the Alberta/Saskatchewan border and transports western Canadian gas through the Prairies to Ontario (Figure 5).
  • The Mainline has interconnects with other pipelines at several import/export points in southern Ontario. It also connects to the Trans-Quebec and Maritimes (TQM) pipeline at the Ontario/Quebec border.
  • Historically, Ontario was a consumer of western Canadian natural gas and more natural gas was exported to the U.S. than imported. In recent years, Ontario has become a net importer and has increased gas imports from the U.S. Northeast and Midcontinent.
  • The Dawn Hub, one of North America’s major natural gas trading hubs and pricing benchmarks, is located in Ontario. With a capacity of about 274 Bcf, Dawn is home to more than 30 underground storage pools accounting for approximately 30% of Canada’s underground natural gas storage capacity.
  • On 1 January 2019, Ontario’s two main distribution companies Union Gas and Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. merged into one company, Enbridge Gas Inc (EGI). EGI delivers natural gas to approximately 3.7 million customers in over 355 municipalities and 21 indigenous communities in Ontario through over 147 600 kilometres (km) of pipeline. EGI is regulated by the Ontario Energy Board.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

  • Union Gas operates a small-scale LNG facility near Sudbury. It has been in operation since 1968.
  • Two small-scale LNG liequefaction facilities in Thorold and Nipigon have been proposed by Northeast Midstream. The Thorold project has received local and provincial permits, and has a proposed liquefaction capacity of 31.3 MMcf/d of LNG. In January 2019, the Ontario government announced that it will provide $27 million towards the Nipigon LNG facility, which is expected to begin operation in 2020.

Electricity

  • Ontario’s net interprovincial and international electricity outflows were 11.4 TW.h in 2018.
  • Hydro One owns and operates almost all of Ontario’s transmission capacity and has about 30 000 km of transmission lines.
  • Hydro One is also the largest distributor of electricity in the province, serving nearly 1.4 million predominantly rural customers that represent approximately 26% of the total customers in Ontario. There are over 60 distribution companies operating in Ontario.
  • The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) manages the province’s power system by balancing supply and demand, and directing power across high-voltage transmission lines.
  • Ontario has interconnections with Manitoba, Quebec, Michigan, Minnesota, and New York. Most of Ontario’s imports come from Quebec, while most of Ontario’s exports go to New York and Michigan.
  • Ontario Energy Board regulates the energy sector in Ontario, including electricity.

Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

Total Energy Consumption

  • End-use demand in Ontario was 3 035 petajoules (PJ) in 2017. The largest sector for energy demand was industrial at 37% of total demand, followed by transportation at 29%, residential at 18%, and commercial at 16% (Figure 6). Ontario’s total energy demand was the 2nd largest in Canada, and the 8th largest on a per capita basis.
  • Refined petroleum products were the largest fuel type consumed in Ontario, accounting for 1 452 PJ, or 48%. Natural gas and electricity accounted for 852 PJ (28%) and 481 PJ (16%), respectively (Figure 7).

Refined Petroleum Products (RPPs)

  • Refineries in the province can produce roughly 75% of Ontario’s demand for RPPs, including gasoline. Imports are mainly from Quebec, delivered via the Trans-Northern Pipeline, rail, and truck. Imports also come from the U.S. Midwest. In 2018, roughly 12% of total Canadian RPP imports were for the Ontario market.
  • Ontario is the largest market in Canada for RPPs. Total 2018 demand in Ontario for RPPs was 571 Mb/d, or 30% of total Canadian RPP demand. Of Ontario’s total demand, 286 Mb/d was for motor gasoline and 133 Mb/d was for diesel.
  • Ontario’s per capita RPP consumption in 2017 was 2 357 litres (15 barrels), among the lowest in Canada. Ontario’s RPP consumption per capita is 22% below the national average of 3 038 litres per capita.

Natural Gas

  • Ontario consumed an average of 2.7 Bcf/d of natural gas in 2018. Ontario demand represented 24% of total Canadian demand, making it the largest consuming province after Alberta.
  • Ontario’s largest consuming sector for natural gas was the residential sector, which consumed 1.00 Bcf/d in 2018. The industrial and commercial sectors consumed 0.99 Bcf/d and 0.71 Bcf/d, respectively.

Electricity

  • In 2017, annual electricity consumption per capita in Ontario was 9.5 megawatt hours (MW.h). Ontario ranked 11th in Canada for per capita electricity consumption and consumed 35% less than the national average.
  • Ontario’s largest consuming sector for electricity in 2017 was commercial at 47.0 TW.h. The residential and industrial sectors consumed 44.2 TW.h and 42.1 TW.h, respectively. Ontario’s electricity demand has grown 3% since 2005.

GHG Emissions

  • Ontario’s GHG emissions in 2017 were 159 megatonnes (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Ontario’s emissions have declined 12% since 1990Footnote 1.
  • Ontario’s emissions per capita are the 2nd lowest in Canada, at 11.3 tonnes of CO2e – 42% below the Canadian average of 19.6 tonnes per capita.
  • The largest emitting sectors in Ontario are transportation at 35% of emissions, heavy industries (including iron, steel, and chemicals) at 24%, and buildings (residential and commercial) at 22% (Figure 8).
  • Ontario’s GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector in 2017 were 9.3 MT CO2e. Of this total, 1.4 MT were attributable to production, processing, and transmission and 7.9 MT were attributable to petroleum refining and natural gas distribution.
  • In 2017, Ontario’s electricity sector emitted 2.0 MT CO2e emissions, or 3% of total Canadian GHG emissions attributable to power generation. Ontario’s GHG emissions from power generation peaked in 2000 at 43.4 MT CO2e and then saw emissions decline as it phased out coal-fired generation from 2005 to 2014.

More Information

Data Sources

Provincial & Territorial Energy Profiles aligns with CER’s latest Canada’s Energy Future 2019 datasets. Energy Future uses a variety of data sources, generally starting with Statistics Canada data as the foundation, and making adjustments depending on individual province/territory circumstances.  Adjustments are necessary to ensure consistency and comparability across provinces/territories.

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