U.S.-Canadian energy trade balance remains lopsided

Monday, 02 July 2018

Canada is the main source of U.S. energy imports and the second-largest destination for U.S. energy exports behind only Mexico. Most of the bilateral trade of natural gas is done through pipeline shipments. Most of Canada’s gas exports to the United States originate in Western Canada and are shipped to U.S. markets in the West and Midwest. Imports of Canadian gas increased to 8.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2017, making up 97% of all U.S. imports. Total 2017 gas imports from Canada were valued at $7.3 billion.

On the flip side, U.S. gas exports to Canada increased to 2.5 Bcf/d in 2017 and were mainly routed from New York into the eastern provinces. Build-out in gas pipeline capacity help ship supply from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations into Canada.

Crude oil dominates the trade balance and Canada provided 43% of of total U.S. crude oil imports in 2017, which equals an average 3.4 million barrels per day (b/d). Canadian crude oil is largely produced in Alberta and consists mainly of heavy grades that are shipped primarily to the U.S. Midwest and Gulf Coast regions. The value of Canadian crude oil exports increased to $50 billion in 2017, as a result of both rising oil prices and an increase in volume.