Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles – Newfoundland and Labrador
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Figure 1: Hydrocarbon Production
Source and Description:
This graph shows hydrocarbon production in Newfoundland and Labrador from 2008 to 2018. Over this period, crude oil production has decreased from 343 Mb/d to 244 Mb/d.
Figure 2: Electricity Generation by Fuel Type (2018)
Source and Description:
This pie chart shows electricity generation by source in Newfoundland and Labrador. A total of 42.8 TW.h of electricity was generated in 2018.
Figure 3: Electricity Capacity and Primary Fuel Sources Map
Source and Description:
CER, Natural Resources Canada
This map shows electricity generation facilities in Newfoundland and Labrador. Facilities are shown by capacity and by primary fuel source.
PDF version [1335 KB]
Figure 4: Crude Oil Infrastructure Map
Source and Description:
This map shows all refineries and offshore crude oil platforms in Newfoundland and Labrador, and crude oil infrastructure in Atlantic Canada.
PDF version [454 KB]
Figure 5: End-Use Demand by Sector (2017)
Source and Description:
This pie chart shows end-use energy demand in Newfoundland and Labrador by sector. Total end-use energy demand was 162 PJ in 2017. The largest sector was industrial at 42% of total demand, followed by transportation (at 35%), residential (at 16%), and lastly, commercial (at 8%).
Figure 6: End-Use Demand by Fuel (2017)
Source and Description:
This figure shows end-use demand by fuel type in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2017. Refined petroleum products accounted for 99 PJ (61%) of demand, followed by electricity at 37 PJ (23%), natural gas at 16 PJ (10%), biofuels at 10 PJ (6%), and other at 0 PJ.
Note: "Other" includes coal, coke, and coke oven gas.
Figure 7: GHG Emissions by Sector
Source and Description:
This stacked column graph shows GHG emissions in Newfoundland and Labrador by sector every five years from 1990 to 2017 in MT of CO2e. Total GHG emissions have increased in Newfoundland and Labrador from 9.4 MT of CO2e in 1990 to 10.5 MT of CO2e in 2017.
- In 2018, Newfoundland and Labrador’s oil production was 243.7 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d), or 5% of Canada’s overall production and more than 25% of Canada’s light oil production. (Figure 1).
- Newfoundland and Labrador is the largest producer of crude oil in eastern Canada, and is the 3rd largest oil producing province in Canada after Alberta and Saskatchewan.
- Production occurs from four offshore developments: Hibernia, Terra Nova, White Rose and the White Rose Expansion Projects, and Hebron. The projects are owned by different groups of owners, which include ExxonMobil, Chevron, Husky, Suncor, and Equinor.
- Production had steadily decreased between 2007 and 2015, but increased in 2016 and 2017 because of higher production at the ExxonMobil-operated Hibernia oil platform. Production further increased in 2018 and 2019 with the start-up of the Hebron platform, also operated by ExxonMobil.
- Hebron oil platform produced first oil on 27 November 2017 from the Jeanne d’Arc Basin. Hebron averaged 61.6 Mb/d in 2018.
- In 2017, Husky announced, on behalf of the project proponents Husky, Suncor, and Nalcor, that it is moving forward with its West White Rose project, also located in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin. Construction of the gravity-based structure is underway and production is expected in 2022.
- Suncor operates the Terra Nova field, approximately 350 kilometers (km) southeast of Newfoundland. In 2019, Suncor and the Terra Nova owners sanctioned a project beginning in 2020 to extend production from the field to 2031. The project is expected to allow for the recovery of an additional 80 million barrels of oil.
- Five oil discoveries have been made in the deepwater Flemish Pass Basin offshore of Newfoundland and Labrador in recent years. The discoveries are Bay du Nord, Mizzen, Baccalieu, Bay de Verde, and Harpoon. The Flemish Pass is approximately 500 km from shore in 1 200 metres of water, much farther and deeper than the Jeanne d’Arc Basin where all currently producing facilities are located.
- Flemish Pass’ Bay du Nord discovery was announced in 2013 by Equinor (formerly Statoil). The field also includes two additional discoveries, Bay de Verde and Baccalieu, discovered in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The Bay du Nord and Baccalieu discoveries are estimated to hold 452 million barrels of recoverable oil according to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB). Newfoundland and Labrador has a 10% equity stake in Bay du Nord project through the newly established crown corporation, Oil and Gas Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador. Bay du Nord would mark the province’s first offshore development outside of the Jeanne d’Arc Basin and the first project in the world beyond the 200 nautical mile limit and subject to United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
- Several companies have approved or proposed long-term exploration programs for various holdings in the Jeanne d’Arc, Flemish Pass, Orphan and Carson basins. These programs could result in more than 100 exploration wells by 2028.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s remaining resource base for crude oil is estimated to be 5.1 billion barrels when production to year-end 2018 is subtracted.
Refined Petroleum Products (RPPs)
- The North Atlantic Refinery in Come by Chance is the only refinery in Newfoundland and Labrador. It has a capacity of 130 Mb/d, expanded from 115 Mb/d in 2016. The refinery consumes approximately 20 percent eastern Canadian production and 80 percent offshore imports.
- In 2019, two expansion projects have been proposed for the North Atlantic Refinery and these are currently under review by regulators. The first proposal would allow for processing of light, sweet crudes to yield IMO 2020 compliant low-sulphur diesel, and ultimately increase capacity to 162 Mb/d. The second proposal would further expand capacity by an additional 40 Mb/d and add a 26 Mb/d delayed coker.
- Newfoundland and Labrador has a net surplus of RPPs and exports a significant amount of its production to the United States (U.S.) East Coast market.
Natural Gas/Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs)
- In 2018, 549 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas was produced at offshore Newfoundland crude oil facilities. All natural gas was used for power at the offshore facilities, reinjected into the ground to maintain reservoir pressure, or flared.
- There is no production of NGLs in Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s sales-quality natural gas resource is estimated by C-NLOPB at 12.6 trillion cubic feet.
- C-NLOPB regulates offshore resource exploration and development.
- In 2018, Newfoundland and Labrador generated 42.8 terawatt hours (TW.h) of electricity (Figure 2), which is approximately 7% of total Canadian generation. Newfoundland and Labrador is the 5th largest producer of electricity in Canada and has a generating capacity of 7 822 megawatts (MW).
- Newfoundland and Labrador generates 95% of its electricity from hydro sources (Figure 3). This includes the 5 428 MW Churchill Falls generating station, which is one of the largest power plants in Canada. Nalcor owns 65.8% of the project and Hydro-Québec owns the remaining 34.2%. Most of the energy from Churchill Falls is sold to Hydro-Québec under a long-term contract that expires in 2041.
- Nalcor’s Lower Churchill project involves construction of two hydro generation facilities: Muskrat Falls and potentially followed by Gull Island. At the end of 2019, construction of the 824 MW Muskrat Falls generating facility is nearly complete, with first power expected in 2020. The Muskrat Falls project is estimated to cost about $12.7 billion. The Gull Island project is a proposed 2 250 MW generation facility that was initially proposed for development after the completion of Muskrat Falls and has not yet been sanctioned for construction.
- After hydroelectricity, oil is the largest contributor to Newfoundland and Labrador’s power generation capacity, primarily from the 490 MW Holyrood Thermal Generating Station. Although power generated by oil accounts for approximately 9% of the province’s generation capacity, it only made up 1.5% of the generation in 2018. Natural gas and wind power also contribute a small proportion to the generation mix.
- Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, a subsidiary of Nalcor, is responsible for most power generation. There are also independent power producers of hydroelectricity, cogeneration, wind, and biogas.
Energy Transportation and Trade
Crude Oil and Liquids
- There are no crude oil pipelines or crude-by-rail facilities in Newfoundland and Labrador. All of its offshore crude oil production is transported to refineries by ship.
- Crude production is transported from the oil fields by shuttle tankers to the Newfoundland Transshipment Limited’s 3 million barrel terminal located in Whiffen Head. The Terminal received its first production from the Hibernia field in October 1998, from the Terra Nova field in February 2002, from the White Rose field in June 2007, and from the Hebron field in December 2017. Crude is then loaded onto ships destined for domestic and export markets (Figure 4).
- There are no natural gas pipelines in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
- There are no current or proposed LNG facilities in Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Newfoundland and Labrador is a significant net exporter of electricity. In 2018, net interprovincial and international electricity outflows accounted for 32.2 TW.h, or about 75% of generation.
- Newfoundland Power, a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., is the primary distributor of electricity serving more than 87% of customers in the province. Newfoundland Power operates 12 000 km of transmission and distribution lines on the island portion of the province.
- Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro distributes power to the remaining 38 000 rural customers, across more than 6 400 km of transmission and distribution lines.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s transmission system until recently had consisted of two large networks: the Island Interconnected System, which was isolated from the rest of North America, and the Labrador Interconnected System, which receives hydro power from the Churchill Falls station and attaches to Quebec’s infrastructure.
- The island of Newfoundland now is connected to the North American power grid through the construction of the Labrador-Island Link and the Maritime Link.
- Construction on the Labrador-Island Link was completed in late 2017, and once placed in service, will deliver electricity 1 100 km from Muskrat Falls in Labrador to the island. First power from Muskrat falls is expected in 2020.
- The Maritime Link was also completed in late 2017 and placed in service in January 2018. The subsea cables connect the island of Newfoundland with Nova Scotia and allow access to the North American bulk electric system. The Maritime Link will also allow Nova Scotia to receive 20% of the power originating from Muskrat Falls through a fixed rate 35-year agreement.
- There are also isolated systems serving 20 communities along the coast of the province. These isolated systems are primarily supported by diesel generation.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities is the regulator of both Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and Newfoundland Power.
Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions
Total Energy Consumption
- End-use demand in Newfoundland and Labrador was 162 petajoules (PJ) in 2017. The largest sector for energy demand was industrial at 42% of total demand, followed by transportation at 35%, residential at 16%, and commercial at 8% (Figure 5). Newfoundland and Labrador’s total energy demand was the 9th largest in Canada, and the 4th largest on a per capita basis.
- Refined petroleum products were the largest fuel type consumed in Newfoundland and Labrador, accounting for 99 PJ, or 61%. Electricity and natural gas accounted for 37 PJ (23%) and 16 PJ (10%), respectively (Figure 6).
Refined Petroleum Products
- Gasoline in Newfoundland and Labrador is primarily refined within the province at the North Atlantic Refinery. RPPs consumed in Newfoundland and Labrador are also supplied by the Irving Oil Refinery in New Brunswick, refineries in Quebec, and international imports.
- Total 2018 demand for RPPs in Newfoundland and Labrador was estimated at 45 Mb/d, or 2% of total Canadian RPP demand. Of Newfoundland and Labrador’s total demand, an estimated 14 Mb/d was for motor gasoline and 11 Mb/d was for diesel.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s per capita RPP consumption in 2018 was 5 030 litres (32 barrels), or 66% above the national average of 3 038 litres per capita.
- RPP prices have been regulated by the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities since 2004. The Board sets maximum retail prices for heating oil, gasoline, and diesel using spot market pricing and adding wholesale and retail margins, transportation costs, and taxes. Prices are revised every week or as required to adjust for market conditions.
- None of the natural gas produced at offshore oil facilities is sold. The natural gas is used to power the offshore crude oil facilities, reinjected into the ground to maintain reservoir pressure, or flared.
- In 2017, annual electricity consumption per capita in Newfoundland and Labrador was 19.3 megawatt hours (MW.h). Newfoundland and Labrador ranked 3nd in Canada for per capita electricity consumption and consumed 33% more than the national average.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest consuming sector for electricity in 2017 was residential at 4.3 TW.h. The industrial and commercial sectors consumed 3.4 TW.h and 2.6 TW.h, respectively. Newfoundland and Labrador’s electricity demand has decreased 5% since 2005.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s GHG emissions in 2017 were 10.5 megatonnes (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) Footnote 1. Newfoundland and Labrador’s emissions have increased 12% since 1990.
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s emissions per capita are 19.9 tonnes CO2e per capita – 2% above the Canadian average of 19.6 tonnes per capita.
- The largest emitting sectors in Newfoundland and Labrador are transportation at 34% of emissions, oil and gas production at 27%, and electricity generation at 15% (Figure 7).
- Newfoundland and Labrador’s GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector in 2017 were 2.9 MT CO2e. Of this total, 1.8 MT were attributable to offshore oil production and 1.1 MT were attributable to petroleum refining.
- In 2017, Newfoundland and Labrador’s power sector emitted 1.5 MT CO2e emissions, which represents about 2% of Canada’s GHG emissions from power generation.
- Canada-Newfoundland & Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board
- Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Natural Resources
- Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Finance – Oil Economic Bulletin
- Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities – Current Regulated Fuel Prices
- Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro – System Information
- Newfoundland and Labrador Open Data - Energy
- CER – Market Snapshot: Atlantic offshore oil production and the Law of the Sea
- CER – Market Snapshot: Household expenditures on energy are highest in Atlantic Canada
- CER – Market Snapshot: How much crude oil does Canada export by marine vessel and where does it go?
- CER – Market Snapshot: Newfoundland joins the interconnected North American electricity grid
- CER – Market Snapshot: 25 years of Atlantic Canada offshore oil & natural gas production
- CER – Market Snapshot: Understanding the Regulation of Gasoline Prices in Atlantic Canada
- CER – Market Snapshot: Canadian crude oil imports from the U.S. decline in 2016, overseas imports increase
- CER – Market Snapshot: Household energy expenditures highest in the Atlantic region, lowest in British Columbia
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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