EIA: US importing more crude from Canada, even as total imports falling; 25% of imports in 2011, 28% so far in 2012
US imports of Canadian crude oil rose to record levels during the first eight months of 2012, with Canada accounting for a growing share of total gross US imports, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The United States is importing more crude oil from Canada, even though the total amount of crude oil America buys from foreign suppliers is falling.
Canada is the world's sixth-largest oil producer, and virtually all of its crude oil exports are directed to US refineries, the EIA noted in an earlier country briefing. Long a major onshore and offshore producer of conventional crude, the recent growth in Canada’s liquids production has been driven by bitumen and upgraded synthetic crude oil produced from the oil sands of Alberta. The vast majority of Canada’s reserves and the expected future growth in Canada’s liquids production will derive from unconventional resources.
Canada is the largest supplier of foreign oil to the United States, followed by Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Venezuela. Almost 99% of Canadian oil exports are sent to the US market. Canada accounted for approximately 25% of US crude oil imports in 2011, averaging 2.2 million barrels per day.
In 2012, Canada supplied the US with a record of nearly 2.5 million barrels per day during January-August 2012, according to the latest oil trade data from EIA. At the same time, total US crude oil imports fell from 8.9 million barrels per day in 2011 to 8.7 million barrels per day through August 2012. As a result, the share of Canadian oil as a percentage of total U.S. oil imports during the eight-month period increased to 28%.
|US imports of crude oil and percentage imports from Canada. Source: EIA. Click to enlarge.|