2.9 Takeaways


The previous sections show Canada’s substantial and steady increase in oil production over the past 20 years, as well as the relative stability of natural gas production at the national level. A closer look at energy trade reveals that oil production chiefly focused on increasing exports, in contrast to natural gas, which has seen a decrease in net exports over the same period. Since Canada essentially has a single buyer for its oil and gas exports, its production levels and revenues are closely linked to the state of the market in the US. In particular, the major increase in tight oil and shale gas production south of the border has put significant pressure on the price of these commodities in Canada, largely contributing to the problems observed in the oil and gas sectors in the last few years.

It is also of note that oil and gas exports dwarf other sources. Uranium exports constitute large quantities in terms of energy content, but low prices on world markets have resulted in lower export revenues. Electricity exports also amount to significantly less value than oil and gas, although this is partly due to relatively small volumes.

Because of their resource endowment and geography, the provinces have drastically different production and trade profiles. Decarbonization efforts in bordering U.S. states have opened up opportunities for greater electricity exports, but obstacles to the building of additional transmission capacity have hampered the ability of Canadian utilities to take advantage of them.