March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Canada is the U.S.’s most important energy partner and the most responsible choice for crude imports, Joe Oliver, Canada’s natural resources minister, said today at the IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston.
“Canada and the U.S. have what is arguably the closest and most important bilateral energy relationship in the world,” Oliver said.
The country became the U.S.’s largest single source of crude oil imports in 2004, and Canadian imports have grown 49 percent to 2.4 million barrels a day since then, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.
The U.S. now relies on Canada for 28 percent of its oil imports, nearly double what it gets from its next largest supplier, Saudi Arabia, according to the EIA, a division of the U.S. Energy Department.
Canada produced 3.2 million barrels a day in 2012, up 7 percent from 2011, according to the National Energy Board, Canada’s federal energy regulator. It was the country’s highest output level on record, according to data provided by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
Canada’s oil exports to the U.S. account for 16 percent of its export revenue, or C$72 billion ($69.8 billion) a year, according to Statistics Canada, the nation’s data office.
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