Crude Oil Demand


Updated March 2018

Figure S4.6

  • Alberta demand for crude oil increased from 18.6 thousand cubic metres per day (103 m3/d)—117.0 thousand barrels per day (103 bbl/d)—in 2016 to about 21.6 103 m3/d (135.9 103 bbl/d) in 2017 due to increased refinery demand. Higher refinery demand in 2017 resulted from production recovering after the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires and completion of a debottlenecking project in late 2016 at Shell Canada Energy Limited’s Scotford refinery, which increased hydrocracker production capacity by 20.0 per cent, allowing for increased volumes of heavy crude oil to be processed.

In 2017, Alberta’s operating refineries had an estimated total throughput of 74.5 103 m3/d of crude oil equivalent. Of this, 27.9 per cent was conventional crude oil, 67.4 per cent was synthetic crude oil, and the remainder, about 4.7 per cent, was blended bitumen. Beyond the addition of the North West Redwater Partnership Sturgeon refinery, which is designed to process bitumen, there are currently no approvals for any other refineries, so no additional Alberta demand is forecast for conventional crude oil.

An estimated 68.8 per cent of the 69.2 103 m3/d total conventional crude oil production was removed from the province in 2017. As shown in Figure S4.6 [Tableau], conventional crude oil accounts for roughly 9.6 per cent of total oil removals (upgraded and nonupgraded bitumen plus crude oil and pentanes plus). Conventional crude oil removals from the province are expected to decline slightly to 66.7 per cent of production (43.3 103 m3/d; 272.5 103 bbl/d) by the end of the forecast period in 2027 as a result of declining production. The share of conventional crude oil removals will fall to about 6.0 per cent by 2027, as shown in Figure 11 [Tableau] in the executive summary.