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Market Snapshot: Top U.S. destinations for Canadian crude oil exports

Release date: 2018-10-24

Canadian crude oil exports have increased nine fold over the last 32 years. Historically, most crude oil exports have gone to the Midwest United States (U.S.), also known as Petroleum Administration for Defense District II, or PADD IIFootnote 1. Currently, while most exports continue to go to PADD II, exports are also increasingly going to the U.S. Gulf Coast, or PADD III.

The visualization for this market snapshot comes from the NEB’s Import and Export Visualization of energy products to and from Canada.

Imports & Exports of Energy Production to and from Canada
Source and Description

Source: NEB

Description: This visualization shows crude oil exports from Canada to the U.S. quarterly from 1985 to 2017. It shows volume of daily exports in bar graphs broken down by mode of transportation, type of crude oil, and PADD destination shown on a map. Over this period, exports to the U.S. have increased nine fold. The largest increase in exports has come from heavy and medium crude oil. Exports by marine vessel started in the 2000s and exports by rail started in 2012.

PADD II has 27 refineries and processes about 4 million barrels per day (MMb/d) (636 thousand cubic metres per day) of crude oil. This is more than twice Canada’s entire refining capacity of 1.9 MMb/d (302 thousand cubic metres per day). In 2017, 63% of the crude oil processed in PADD II was imported, almost entirely from Canada. PADD II has a large coking capacity, which means its refineries can process heavy crude oil, like that from Canada. Canadian crude oil exports to PADD II are transported primarily on the Keystone pipeline system, the Enbridge Mainline, and the Express Pipeline, which connects the Platte pipeline in Wyoming.

PADD III has 56 refineries and can process approximately 9.7 MMb/d, or five times Canadian refining capacity. PADD III has the largest coking capacity of all U.S. PADDs. Canadian imports to PADD III have increased in recent years due to decreasing imports from other heavy oil producing countries such as Venezuela and Mexico. Canadian crude oil exports to PADD III are transported on the Keystone pipeline system, the Enbridge Mainline system via the Mid-Valley pipeline system, and by rail. Canadian Crude oil exports by rail have been at an all-time high in the last few months.

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