Production of crude oil and equivalent products rose 10.4 per cent to 22.3 million cubic metres (140.3 million barrels) in April compared with the same month a year earlier, according to Statistics Canada.
“The increase was primarily driven by oil sands activity, supported by the continued easing of production limits imposed by the government of Alberta in January 2019,” reported the federal agency on Friday.
“Following three consecutive year-over-year monthly declines, production of crude bitumen increased 8.5 per cent in April, surpassing 9.0 million cubic metres for the first time this year. Meanwhile, despite recording the lowest level in seven months (5.1 million cubic metres), production of synthetic crude oil rose 27.7 per cent compared with April 2018 when widespread maintenance work limited the production at most upgrading facilities in Alberta.
“Production of equivalent products (+12.6 per cent), light and medium crude oil (+2.0 per cent) and heavy crude oil (+0.1 per cent) also contributed to the overall increase in April.”
StatsCan said Alberta produced 18.1 million cubic metres of crude oil and equivalent products in April, up 12.4 per cent from the same month a year earlier, and accounted for 81.2 per cent of total Canadian production. Despite maintenance work and a fire at two upgrading facilities in northern Alberta, the average provincial daily production of crude oil and equivalents continued to increase in April (603.9 thousand cubic metres per day) compared with the previous three months, it said.
“Pipelines in Canada received 19.3 million cubic metres of crude oil and equivalent products from fields and plants in April, down 1.9 per cent compared with the same month in 2018. This was the fourth consecutive year-over-year monthly decrease, reflecting lower crude oil production levels in Alberta, where the majority of these receipts (85.1 per cent) originated,” said Statistics Canada.
“Over the same period, pipelines delivered 7.1 million cubic metres of crude oil to Canadian refineries and upgraders, up 13.8 per cent from the same month a year earlier, with over 70 per cent of the total volume delivered to refineries and upgraders in the Western provinces.”
It said total exports of crude oil and equivalent products increased 0.3 per cent to 17.9 million cubic metres in April. Exports to the United States via pipelines increased 1.1 per cent year over year to 15.4 million cubic metres. Overall, pipelines were the main mode of transport, accounting for 85.6 per cent of total exports in April. Exports to the United States by other means (rail, truck and marine) increased 18.8 per cent to 2.2 million cubic metres, while exports to other countries were down.