By Carl Chapman from Phoenix, usa (nenana-_MG_0006.jpg) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
In 2017, Canada traded energy with more than 150 countries. Canada exports more energy than it imports, with energy exports in 2017 amounting to about $112.6 billion, which represents 22 per cent of Canada’s total exports.
Oil and gas account for the majority of domestic exports, totaling more than $97 billion, most of which goes to the United States, Canada’s biggest trading partner...
In contrast, Canada imported $41.2 billion in energy in 2017, which represents about 7 per cent of all imports. As with exports, the United States accounted for more than half of Canada’s energy imports...
Oil and gas account for the majority of domestic exports, totaling more than $97 billion, most of which goes to the United States, Canada’s biggest trading partner.
In contrast, Canada imported $41.2 billion in energy in 2017, which represents about 7 per cent of all imports. As with exports, the United States accounted for more than half of Canada’s energy imports.
Canada’s oilsands are located in Alberta and produce more crude oil than the country needs, which is why Canada has become the fourth largest exporter of oil in the world. Canada is the largest supplier of crude oil to the United States, exporting about 3.3 million barrels per day. The United States produces a lot of light crude oil from shale deposits but has refineries that are better suited for processing heavy crude oil like the kind produced in Alberta’s oilsands, which is why they continue to import from Canada.
However, despite Canada’s wealth in crude oil production, there are regional geographic and infrastructure constraints that necessitate crude oil and petroleum product imports. In other words, in places like Atlantic Canada and Quebec it is easier to import from other countries rather than from Western Canada. Canada imports from countries such as the United States, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Norway, and Nigeria.
Similar to crude oil, Canada exports more natural gas than it imports. Canada is the fifth largest exporter of natural gas in the world. In 2017, Canada exported 8.2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. A little more than half of the natural gas produced in Canada is exported, and all of it goes to United States. Recent innovations in the ways that natural gas is extracted, including improvements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, mean that the United States has been able to access deposits of shale gas, decreasing their reliance on Canadian natural gas.
All of Canada’s electricity, most of which is produced through hydropower, is exported to the United States. In 2017, Canada exported 72 terawatt hours of electricity to the U.S, which accounts for nearly 11 per cent of Canada’s generated electricity. Canada imported about 10 terawatt hours from the United States.
Canada and the United States are very interconnected and there are 34 major international transmission lines running between the two countries, meaning that large volumes of electricity mainly move in a north-south direction across international borders rather than east-west across provincial borders. British Columbia, Quebec, and Manitoba produce a lot of hydroelectricity, which they export to the United States. For example, Ontario and Quebec mainly supply eastern United States — the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland Interconnection, the New York Independent System Operator, and the Independent System Operator of New England. This part of the United States isn’t very large, but it is densely populated and buys the majority of Canadian exports.
In 2017, Canada accounted for 22 per cent of global uranium production and was the second largest exporter of uranium in the world. Canada has a nuclear non-proliferation policy, which means that Canadian uranium can be used only for peaceful purposes, such as energy production and research, and not for nuclear weapons. About 88 per cent of the uranium produced in Canada is exported for use in nuclear reactors around the world. About 41 per cent is exported to North America and Latin America (with United State making up the majority of those exports), 38 per cent goes to Asia, and 20 per cent to Europe.
Although Canada has made a pledge to phase out coal-fired generation plants by 2030 and coal imports have been going down over the years, coal mining and exporting have remained steady. Coal is primarily used for electricity generation (thermal coal) and coking or steelmaking (metallurgical coal). In 2017, Canada exported 31 million tonnes of coal and imported 7.5 million tonnes (mainly from the United States). Canada is the third largest exporter of metallurgical coal in the world, the majority of which goes to Japan, South Korea, and China.
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