Canada’s U.S. Oil Imports Dwarf Saudis’ Share: Chart of the DayMark Shenk
Canada’s share of U.S. oil imports is dwarfing Mexico and Saudi Arabia, as the country is faced with few outlets for its growing oil sands production.
The CHART OF THE DAY tracks the proportion of U.S. crude oil imports supplied by Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico since November 2004, when each provided a bit more than 15 percent of demand. Canada’s dominance started in 2006, when output from Alberta’s oil sands formations boosted the country’s production to a then-record 3.29 million barrels a day. Its share has climbed to about 42 percent while the others combine for 24 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Canadian production rose 5.6 percent to a record last year and is projected by the U.S Energy Information Administration to reach 4.47 million barrels a day in 2015. The country’s refineries can process 2.12 million barrels a day, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
“Canadian production has only a limited range of outlets, so as production grows it moves across the border to the U.S.,” Tim Evans, an energy analyst at Citi Futures Perspective in New York, said by phone yesterday. “A lot is shipped by rail and by pipelines that run to the Midwest where refineries have upgraded” to cope with the Canadian barrels.
U.S. imports of Canadian crude climbed to a record 3.13 million barrels a day in September, the most recent month with comparable data, according to the EIA. That compares with 1 million from Saudi Arabia and 816,000 from Mexico, 22 percent lower than a year earlier.