Canadian economy gets a boost from Alberta energy sector

StatsCan said oil sands extraction increased 11% to take advantage of the easing of production restrictions

oil and gas
Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction was up 4.5 per cent in April, primarily due to a 5.5 per cent rise in oil and gas extraction

Canada’s real gross domestic product was up 0.3 per cent in April, following a 0.5 per cent increase in March, according to Statistics Canada.

And that was helped by a boost from the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector.

The federal agency reported on Friday that goods-producing industries rose 0.4 per cent, while services-producing industries increased 0.2 per cent. The 20 industrial sectors were nearly evenly split between gains and losses, it said.

“On a three-month rolling average basis, real gross domestic product increased 0.3 per cent, up compared with the three-month rolling average in March (+0.1 per cent),” explained StatsCan.

“Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction was up 4.5 per cent in April, primarily due to a 5.5 per cent rise in oil and gas extraction, as output increased following government-mandated production cuts in Alberta that started in January 2019. The rise in this sector is the strongest since the recovery from the wildfires that affected production capacity in the Fort McMurray area in the spring of 2016.”

Statistics Canada said oil sands extraction increased 11 per cent as facilities scaled up production rather than undertaking maintenance activities, to take advantage of the easing of production restrictions. Oil and gas extraction (excluding oil sands) was up 0.5 per cent as a decline in crude petroleum was offset by an increase in natural gas extraction.

“Mining excluding oil and gas grew 1.7 per cent. Non-metallic minerals mining increased 3.9 per cent, led by a 4.4 per cent expansion in potash mining. Metal ore mining gained 0.6 per cent as growth in copper, nickel, lead and zinc mining (+11.4 per cent) more than offset the declines in other types of metal ore mining. Coal mining was down for the third consecutive month, contracting 4.1 per cent in April,” said the report.

“After posting declines for four consecutive months, support activities for mining, oil and gas extraction expanded 5.4 per cent, mainly as a result of increased drilling and rigging services.”

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