Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles – Canada

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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 Canada from 2008 to 2018. Over this period, crude oil production grew from 2.8 MMb/d to 4.8 MMb/d, with all growth coming from the oil sands. Natural gas production increased from 16.1 Bcf/d to 16.2 Bcf/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 Canada. A total of 647.7 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, Quilliq Energy Corporation, Northwest Territories Power Corporation, Yukon Energy Corporation, Natural Resources Canada

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

    Download:
    PDF version [2893 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 and rail lines in Canada

    Download:
    PDF version [1539 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 Canada.

    Download:
    PDF version [2480 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 Canada by sector. Total end-use energy demand was 11 489 PJ in 2017. 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 (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 Canada in 2017. Refined petroleum products accounted for 4 713 PJ (41%) of demand, followed by natural gas at 4 076 PJ (36%), electricity at 1 916 PJ (17%), biofuels at 632 PJ (6%), and other at 151 PJ (1%).
    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 Canada every five years from 1990 to 2017 in MT of CO2e. Total GHG emissions have increased in Canada from 601 MT of CO2e in 1990 to 716 MT of CO2e in 2017.

Energy Production

Crude Oil

  • Canada produced 4.8 million barrels per day (MMb/d) of crude oil in 2018, an increase of 61% 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 2018. The remaining 5% was produced mostly in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Canada’s crude oil goes primarily to export markets. In 2018, Canada exported an average of 3.6 MMb/d – an 8% increase since 2017 and an 83% increase since 2010.
  • Canada holds some of the largest oil reserves in the world, surpassed only by Venezuela and Saudi Arabia as of 2018. The CER’s latest Canada’s Energy Future report projects that crude oil production will grow by nearly 50% to about 7 MMb/d by 2040.
  • Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland produce 97% of Canadian oil and these are also the only provinces that produce heavy oil.

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 approximately 2 MMb/d. Alberta has the largest share of refining capacity (27%), followed by Ontario (20%), Quebec (19%), New Brunswick (16%), Saskatchewan (8%), Newfoundland and Labrador (7%), and British Columbia (B.C.) (3%).
  • The Sturgeon Refinery in Redwater, Alberta is Canada’s first refinery to be constructed since 1984.
  • In 2018, Canadian refineries operated on average at 84% of capacity and consumed 1.6 MMb/d of crude oil.

Natural Gas/Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs)

  • In 2018, total Canadian natural gas production averaged 16.2 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) (Figure 1).
  • Alberta and B.C. accounted for 97% of Canadian production. Smaller amounts of natural gas are produced in Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Northwest Territories (NWT).
  • In 2018, Canada’s production of natural gas liquids (NGLs) was about 700 Mb/d, not including condensate and pentanes plus, which are included with crude oil. The majority of this production was from Alberta.
  • Nova Scotia’s natural gas and NGL production ended in December 2018 with the shutdown of the Sable Offshore Energy Project.
  • The CER’s latest Canada’s Energy Future report projects that natural gas production will increase by over 30% to more than 20 Bcf/d by 2040.

Electricity

  • In 2018, Canada produced 647.7 terawatt hours (TW.h) of electricity. More than half of the electricity in Canada (61%) 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 for 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 approximately 5% of total electricity generation in 2018. Canada ranks 9th in the world for both wind and solar installations.
  • In 2018, Canada’s wind power capacity was 13.0 gigawatts (GW). The majority of the wind facilities in Canada are located in Ontario, Quebec, and Alberta.
  • In 2018, Canada’s had 2.9 GW of solar power capacity. Ontario is home to over 98% of Canada’s solar installations.

Uranium

  • Canada is a world leader in uranium production, accounting for 13% of global production in 2018, down sharply from 22% 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. Uranium was previously mined in Ontario and NWT as well.
  • Cameco’s McArthur River/Key Lake mine in northern Saskatchewan is the largest uranium mine in the world. However, production at McArthur River/Key Lake has been suspended for an indeterminate period because of weak global demand. The closure began in February 2018, causing Canada’s share of global uranium production to decline.
  • 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 CER regulates all interprovincial and international crude oil pipelines.
  • In 2018, Canada exported about 2.8 MMb/d of heavy oil and 0.8 MMb/d of light oil. The total value Canada’s crude oil exports in 2018 was more than $80 billion Canadian dollars.
  • In 2018, Canada imported 0.76 MMb/d of primarily light crude oil (including condensate). Imports were primarily received in central and eastern Canada.
  • The majority of Canada’s crude oil exports are moved by four pipelines: Enbridge’s Canadian Mainline, TC Energy’s (formerly TransCanada) Keystone, 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 to the Gulf Coast have increased by more than 600% since 2013.
  • Canada has more than 30 crude oil rail loading facilities. Most facilities are located in western Canada and have an estimated total capacity of 1.4 MMb/d.
  • In 2018, rail transported approximately 6% of Canadian crude oil exports. Rail and ship transported about 28% of the domestic and imported crude oil consumed by Canadian refineries, with the remaining majority delivered via pipelines.
  • Alberta supplies RPPs to the Prairies through Enbridge’s 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 2% less than total Canadian RPP demand in 2018, although differences in provincial refining capacity and demand create the need for interprovincial transfers and international trade.
  • 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.
  • Canada imports condensate from the U.S. on Enbridge’s Southern Lights and Kinder Morgan’s Cochin. Condensate imported into Alberta is used primarily as a diluent to allow heavy oil and bitumen to be transported on pipelines.

Natural Gas

  • In 2018, Canada exported an average of 7.8 Bcf/d to the U.S. Canada also imported 2.2 Bcf/d in 2018. The value of natural gas exports less imports in 2018 was $6.1 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 or ship 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. TC Energy’s Canadian 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 CER also transport Canadian gas to markets. These include Alliance, BC Pipeline (also known as 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 much of the remainder located near Sarnia, Ontario. Smaller amounts of underground storage are also present in Saskatchewan, B.C., and Quebec. Natural gas storage is used to provide supply to consuming regions during peak winter demand.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

  • As of December 2019, the CER has approved 34 export licence applications for Canadian LNG projects. LNG export projects have been proposed for both the west and east coasts. Only one of the proposed LNG export facilities has reached a positive final investment decision: LNG Canada in Kitimat, B.C. LNG Canada’s plant is currently under construction, with first shipments of LNG expected in the mid-2020s.
  • 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 also exports small volumes of LNG from FortisBC’s Tilbury Island LNG facility to Asia via ship since late 2017.

Electricity

  • Canada is a net exporter of electricity. In 2018, net exports (all to the U.S.) reached a record high of 48.5 TW.h, or about 7% of Canada’s electricity production.
  • The total value of Canada’s electricity exports was $2.9 billion Canadian dollars and the value of imports was $0.5 billion Canadian dollars, resulting in 2018 net exports of $2.4 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 11 489 petajoules (PJ) in 2017. 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 2018, accounting for 4 713 PJ, or 41% of consumption. Natural gas and electricity accounted for 4 076 PJ (35%) and 1 916 PJ (17%), respectively (Figure 7).

Refined Petroleum Products

  • Total demand in Canada for RPPs in 2018 was 1.9 MMb/d. The primary products consumed were gasoline and diesel, accounting for 43% and 30% 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 2018 was 3 038 litres (or 19 barrels). RPP consumption was highest in NWT at 7 378 litres per capita, and lowest in Nunavut at 465 litres per capita Footnote 1.
  • On average, a “representative tank” of Canadian gasoline consists of about 60% gasoline refined in the province where it is consumed, 20% gasoline refined in another province, and 20% 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 by eastern Canadian refineries.

Natural Gas

  • Canada consumed an average of 11.2 Bcf/d of natural gas in 2018. The largest consumers of natural gas were Alberta at 6.2 Bcf/d, followed by Ontario and B.C. at 2.7 Bcf/d and 0.7 Bcf/d, respectively.
  • Canada’s largest consuming sector for natural gas was the industrial sector, which consumed 7.8 Bcf/d in 2018. The residential and commercial sectors consumed 1.9 Bcf/d and 1.5 Bcf/d, respectively.

Electricity

  • In 2017, annual electricity consumption per capita in Canada was 14.6 megawatt hours (MW.h). Quebec ranked the highest for annual electricity consumption at 21.0 MW.h per capita, and Nunavut ranked the lowest at 6.1 MW.h per capita.
  • Canada’s largest consuming sector for electricity in 2017 was industrial at 238 TW.h. The residential and commercial sectors consumed 168 TW.h and 126 TW.h, respectively. The transportation sector consumed a negligible amount. Canadian electricity demand has grown only 5% since 2005.

GHG Emissions

  • Canada’s GHG emissions in 2017 were 715.7 megatonnes (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Canada’s emissions have increased 19% since 1990, and declined 2% since 2005Footnote 2 .
  • Canada’s per capita emissions were 19.6 tonnes CO2e in 2017.
  • Canada’s share of global annual GHG emissions has been below 2.0% since 1990. Despite this low share, Canada ranks among the top four developed nations for GHG emissions per capita, along with Australia, Luxembourg, and United States.
  • The largest sector for GHG emissions in Canada is oil and gas production, which emitted 194.5 MT CO2e in 2017. Transportation was the 2nd largest emitter with 174.4 MT CO2e, followed by industries and manufacturing at 94.5 MT, and buildings at 85 MT (Figure 8).
  • Of the 194.5 MT CO2e emitted by the oil and gas sector in 2017, 171.4 MT were attributable to production, processing, and transmission and 23.2 MT were attributable to petroleum refining and natural gas distribution.
  • Canada’s GHG emissions from power generation declined 43% between 2000 and 2017. The vast majority of this reduction came from Ontario’s phase-out of coal-fired generation. Between 2000 and 2017, Ontario’s GHG emissions from electricity declined from 43.4 MT CO2e to 2.0 MT.
  • Saskatchewan and Alberta are the provinces with the highest emissions from power generation. In 2017, Alberta generated 60% of Canada’s total GHG emissions from power generation and Saskatchewan accounted for 21%.

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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