Mario ToneguzziProduction in all primary energy sectors rose in March compared with a year ago, according to data released Wednesday by Statistics Canada.

And over the same period, exports of crude oil and equivalent products increased, while exports of natural gas and electricity decreased.

The federal agency said production of crude oil and equivalent products rose 0.4 per cent compared with the same month a year earlier, to 22.6 million cubic metres (142.4 million barrels).

“The temporary production cuts imposed by the Alberta government at the beginning of 2019 remained in place in March, although the limits on production were moderately relaxed for the second consecutive month,” it said. “Higher crude production in Newfoundland and Labrador partly offset lower production in Alberta. Overall, Canadian crude oil production (excluding equivalent products) increased 0.1 per cent year over year.

“Production of crude bitumen declined for the third consecutive month, down 4.7 per cent to 8.5 million cubic metres compared with March 2018, while heavy crude oil production was also down. The decreases were partially offset by growth in synthetic crude oil (+5.8 per cent), light and medium crude oil (+3.8 per cent) and equivalent products (+3.4 per cent).”

StatsCan said Alberta produced 18.3 million cubic metres of crude oil and equivalent products in March, edging down 0.2 per cent from the same month a year earlier, and accounted for 80.7 per cent of total Canadian production. Average daily production of crude oil and equivalents continued to increase in March (589.3 thousand cubic metres), compared with February (583.1 thousand cubic metres) and January (580.5 thousand cubic metres). This increase was directly related to the easing of production cuts. Saskatchewan (10.9 per cent of total production) and Newfoundland and Labrador (5.7 per cent) were also key producing provinces in March, it said.

“Pipelines in Canada received 19.9 million cubic metres of crude oil and equivalent products from fields and plants in March, down 9.8 per cent compared with the same month in 2018. The vast majority of these receipts (84.9 per cent) originated in Alberta,” explained Statistics Canada.

“Over the same period, pipelines delivered 7.9 million cubic metres of crude oil to Canadian refineries and upgraders (+3.5 per cent), representing the highest level since January 2018. Almost two-thirds (65.6 per cent) of the total volume were delivered to refineries and upgraders in the Western provinces.”

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business

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