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Market Snapshot: How much crude oil does Canada export by marine vessel and where does it go?

Release date: 2019-05-29

In 2018, Canada exported 275 thousand barrels per day (Mb/d) of crude oil by marine vessel, or 8% of total crude oil exports.Footnote 1

Approximately 80% of the crude oil exported by marine vessel is shipped from Canada’s eastern offshore production areas. This crude oil comes from drilling platforms offshore of Newfoundland and loaded directly onto marine tankers. Around one fifth of the crude oil exported by marine tanker is shipped off Canada’s west coast. This crude oil is produced in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin and transported either by rail or on the Trans Mountain Pipeline to the Westridge loading dock in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Figure 1: Quarterly crude oil exports by marine tanker
off the east and west coasts of Canada 2013-2018

Source and Description

Source: NEB

Description: This bar graph shows quarterly crude oil exports by marine tanker off the east and west coasts of Canada from 2013 to the end of 2018. Crude oil exports by marine tanker off the west coast were highest in the first quarter of 2013, at 70.0 Mb/d. West coast exports decreased until 2016, and have since increased to reach 56.9 Mb/d in the fourth quarter of 2018. East coast exports increased from 133.6 Mb/d in the first quarter of 2013 to a peak of 243.8 Mb/d in the second quarter of 2017, and have since decreased to 194.9 Mb/d in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Shipping crude oil by marine tanker allows Canadian crude oil to reach many different global markets. In 2018, Canadian crude oil was exported to 22 different countries in Europe, Asia, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.

Figure 2: Marine shipments of Canadian crude oil by destination

Source and Description

Source: NEB

Description: This pie chart shows the destinations of crude oil exports from Canada by marine tanker in 2018. 37% of crude oil exports by marine tanker went to Europe, 31% went to the U.S. East Coast, 11% to the U.S. West Coast, Hawaii, and Alaska; 11% to the U.S. Gulf Coast, 8% to Asia, and 2% to the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Crude oil export volumes by marine tanker are generally confidential on a monthly basis. The data may also be confidential at the country-level due to the small number of companies shipping to specific destinations. For this reason, the data has been aggregated to larger geographic regions.

 

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