US oil accounted for 77% of Canada’s foreign oil imports last year: regulators

Washington — Canada is increasingly dependent on imported US oil, a new report from the country’s energy regulator is counterintuitive to the fierce debate about cross-border pipelines and energy independence. It suggests that you are putting a spin.

According to the latest data from the Canadian Energy Regulator, the United States supplied nearly four out of five barrels of imported crude oil in 2020. This year, global demand for fossil fuels was severely depressed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Approximately 77% of Canada’s imports come from the United States, rising from 72% in 2019 to just 6% in 2010, but U.S. domestic oil and gas production has skyrocketed dramatically over the last decade. did.

Darren Christie, Chief Economist of Regulatory Authority, said:

“This specifically shows that the coin has another side: it also imports production from the United States.”

Those who are closely observing the trade flow between Canada and the United States, especially the energy sector, may not be so surprised by how much US crude oil has moved north in recent years.

Last year, the United States absorbed a whopping 96% of Canada’s oil exports, most of which was heavy crude oil, more than half of which was destined for the Midwestern United States.

However, the significant surge in US oil and gas production, partly supported by new extraction technologies such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, has made it a convenient source of raw material for refineries in both countries, Christie said.

“Their crude oil production has more than doubled in the last decade, which is a very noticeable increase,” he said.

“It creates a massive supply boost from the United States, and if we were just north and had previously imported some crude oil from around the world, it would be much of that increased production from the United States. It’s a natural market for us. “

Foreign oil has long been part of Canada’s energy mix, but the latest figures, along with the percentage of imports from the United States, cast ongoing controversy over pipeline links between the two countries in an astonishing new light. I am.

On the first day at The Oval Office, President Joe Biden canceled the expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline. This brought an additional 800,000 barrels of oil sands bitumen from Alberta to a refinery on the Gulf Coast of the United States.

Michigan is currently in court with Governor Gretchen Whitmer to close Line 5, an important cross-border energy link that crosses the Great Lakes under the environmentally friendly Straits of Mackinac. ..

The pipeline supplies major refineries in Sarnia, Ontario, and defends it as an important infrastructure that supplies more than half of the propane needed to heat homes in Michigan alone, not to mention neighboring states. Widely billed by the person.

Canada has vowed to vigorously defend Line 5, and Natural Resources Minister Seams Olegan claimed last month that its operations were “non-negotiable.” Ottawa has not yet announced whether it will participate in the proceedings.

Minnesota protesters also thwarted an ongoing $ 10 billion upgrade of Line 3 Embridge, another key link to the cross-border chain connecting Line 5 at its Superior facility in Wisconsin. I’m doing my best to do it.

The United States’ reliance on oil is particularly high in Atlantic Canada, a region of the country where pipelines are often not available. Imports to the refinery there have increased tenfold over the last decade.

Canada’s energy exports to the United States are more than six times more than moving in the opposite direction, but the interdependence between the two countries is dramatic in terms of both energy supply and economic impact, the American Petroleum Institute said in a report last week. Said that.

Over the last decade, the value of petroleum liquids traded between the two has reached 20% of all trades in Canada and the United States. According to the API, up to 90% of refined oil in eastern Canada traveled via or out of the United States.

“Trade volumes in both directions are dominated by crude oil,” he said.

“Growth in crude oil trade is primarily due to heavy crude oil transported by pipeline and rail from western Canada to the Midwest and Gulf of the United States, and light crude oil transported by pipeline and ship from North Dakota and Texas to eastern Canada. It has been promoted. “

James McCurtain