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    US Still Net Energy Importer From Canada


Oil dominates bilateral trade

by: Dale Lunan

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US Still Net Energy Importer From Canada

The US is still a net importer of crude oil and natural gas from Canada, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said May 23, even though domestic oil and gas production there has grown sharply in the last few years.

Although the value of bilateral energy trade between the two countries has varied over the past decade, driven largely by shifting commodity prices, the basic structure of that energy trade has changed little, the EIA said in its Today in Energy report: the value of US imports from Canada consistently exceeds the value of US exports to Canada by a large margin.

“Based on the latest annual data from the US Census Bureau, energy accounted for $18bn, or about 6%, of the value of all US exports to Canada,” the EIA said. “Energy accounted for $73bn, or about 24%, of the value of all US imports from Canada in 2017, up from 19% in 2016.”

Canada is the main source of US energy imports and is second only to Mexico as a destination for US energy exports.

Crude oil accounts for most of the US imports from Canada, averaging some 3.4mn b/day in 2017, the EIA said, adding that Canada accounted for 43% of all US crude imports last year. Most of the crude comes from Alberta, and consists mainly of heavy grades destined for refinery markets in the Midwest and Gulf Coast region, where it is increasingly displacing heavy crude imports from Venezuela.

Bilateral natural gas trade between the US and Canada, meanwhile, consists mainly of pipeline shipments: imports from Canada averaged 8.1bn ft3/day in 2017, up from 7.8bn ft3/day in 2016, and averaged some 8.8bn ft3/day in January and February this year, down marginally from 8.9bn ft3/day in the same two months last year. Most imports originated in western Canada, the EIA said, and were destined for markets in the west and Midwest.

US gas exports to Canada averaged about 2.5bn ft3/day in 2017, up from 2.1bn ft3/day in 2016, and consisted mainly of Marcellus and Utica shale gas destined for Canada’s eastern provinces, displacing domestic Canadian supplies.

US pipeline exports to Mexico, by comparison, averaged some 4.2bn ft3/day in 2017, up from 3.8bn ft3/day in 2016, according to EIA data.