This article was published by the National Energy Board on June 12, 2019.
Crude oil is one of Canada’s top five highest valued exports.Footnote1,Footnote2 Between 2013 and 2018, the value of crude oil exports ranged from 9 per cent to 17 per cent of Canada’s total exported goods. Despite western Canada experiencing lower oil prices in 2018, the value of exported crude oil was $57.5 billion, or 10 per cent of Canada’s $577.7 billion in exported goods.Footnote3
Canada exported an average of $73.1 billion worth of crude oil between 2013 and 2017, ranking 3rd or 4th place in those years on the list of largest crude exporters in the world.Footnote4
During the same period, Canada’s share of global crude oil export volumes increased. In 2013, 5 per cent of the world’s crude oil export volumes were Canadian; this grew to over 6 per cent in 2017. During these years, Canada exported an average of 3 million barrels per day (MMb/d).
Although most of Canada’s crude oil exports go to the United States (U.S.), the U.S.’s crude oil exports to global markets steadily increased from $11.3 billion in 2013 to $29.3 billion in 2017. Over the same period, the U.S. moved from the 31st position on the list of crude oil exports by value to the 13th position. In 2017, the U.S. exported 0.9 MMb/d of crude oil according the US Energy Information Administration.
The U.S. is expected to be ranked even higher on the global list of crude exporters in 2018 when full data is available. In 2018, the U.S.’s 2018 crude export volumes nearly doubled, averaging 2.0 MMb/d.
Global crude oil trade
Crude oil is one of the most traded products in the world. It is also one of the world’s most valuable and essential commodities. Crude oil was the most traded product in four of the five previous years, surpassed only by exports of motor vehicles in 2016.
In 2017, global exports were valued at $22.8 trillion. Crude oil was $1.1 trillion of that, or nearly 5 per cent.
Crude oil touches most sectors of the global economy. It is the world’s major feedstock for gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other petrochemicals. There are also a multitude of products derived from crude oil including textiles, paints, and even cosmetics.
- Canada’s top 5 exports: motor vehicles and parts, passenger cars and light trucks, consumer goods, metal and non-metallic mineral products and crude oil and crude bitumen.
- The values in this snapshot are in Canadian dollars.
- In 2018, in comparison, Canada imported $18 billion worth of crude oil, or 593 000 barrels per day.
- Saudi Arabia and the Russian Federation were the 1st and 2nd largest crude exporters in the world during this same period (on average $213.2 billion and $136.3 billion, respectively). In 2017, Saudi Arabia and the Russian Federation’s combined crude exports were nearly three times the volume of Canadian exports at 7.2 MMb/d and 5.6 MMb/d per day respectively. Iraq ranked 3rd or 4th place alongside Canada. In 2017, Iraq exported 3.8 MMb/d while Canada exported 3.5 MMb/d.