Canadian crude imports in 2021 fall to lowest since 1988, says CER

A tank truck used to transport petroleum products operates at an oil facility near Brooks, Alberta, Canada April 18, 2018. Picture taken April 18, 2018. REUTERS/Todd Korol

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March 30 (Reuters) – Crude oil imports into Canada in 2021 fell to their lowest level in more than three decades as domestic supply from pipelines increased while a major Newfoundland refinery sat idle , the Canada Energy Regulator announced on Wednesday.

Imports fell nearly 20% in 2021 to 473,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 579,000 bpd in 2020, the CER said in an analysis.

A variety of factors contributed to the decline, including pipelines moving more domestic crude to Ontario and Quebec and Cresta Fund Management’s 135,000 bpd Come-by-Chance refinery in Newfoundland, which remains inactive, the regulator said.

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The total cost of imported crude oil was $14.7 billion in 2021, a 30% increase from 2020 to $11.3 billion, following the recovery in global crude prices in 2021 from the pandemic of COVID-19, according to the CER analysis.

Canada is the world’s fourth largest producer of crude and exports around 3.7 million bpd, but the vast majority of its production comes from the western province of Alberta.

The percentage of barrels imported from the United States increased from 75% in 2020 to 66% in 2021. Saudi Arabia supplied 15%, while Nigeria supplied 13%.

Imports from Nigeria increased by nearly 40,000 bpd in 2021, the largest year-over-year change in imports from any country.

There were no imports from Russia for 2021 or 2020, the analysis adds.

While Canada produces more crude than its refineries need to produce Refined Petroleum Products (RPPs), Canada’s western provinces still import crude oil because they are located far from the main sources of production, CER said.

RPA imports increased 7% from 422,000 bpd in 2020 to 450,000 bpd in 2021, with Alberta importing nearly half of Canada’s total RPA imports. The United States provided the most (76%), followed by the Netherlands (8%).

($1 = 1.25 Canadian dollars)

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Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru Editing by Marguerita Choy

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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