WASHINGTON, Mar. 8, 2017 - Canada is the largest energy trading partner of the U.S., according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
While the value of bilateral energy trade with Canada has varied over the past decade, driven primarily by changes in prices of oil and natural gas, EIA says the overall structure of bilateral energy trade flows has changed relatively little.
The agency notes that U.S. energy imports from Canada have exceeded energy exports by a large margin.
The data show that in 2016, the value of U.S. energy imports from Canada was $53 billion, while the exports were valued at $14 billion.
In 2015 and 2016, the value of U.S. energy imports from Canada and the value of U.S. energy exports to Canada both fell, reflecting declining prices of key commodities such as crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas.
Crude oil makes up most U.S. energy imports from Canada, averaging 3.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2016. Canada is the largest source of U.S. crude oil imports, providing 41 percent of total U.S. crude oil imports in 2016.
Until 2013, the agency says that virtually all U.S. crude oil exports went to Canada.
However, as the U.S. has exported more crude oil to other countries, Canada has made up a smaller share of U.S. crude oil exports.
In 2016, the data show an average of 301,000 b/d of U.S. crude oil was exported to Canada and 219,000 b/d to all other countries.
Bilateral petroleum products trade with Canada is relatively balanced in both volumetric and value terms, the data show. Canada was the destination for 564,000 b/d of petroleum products in 2016, or 12 percent of all petroleum products exported from the U.S. These exports were valued at more than $8.2 billion.
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Bilateral natural gas trade between Canada and the U.S. is dominated by pipeline shipments, EIA says. Natural gas imports from Canada averaged 8.0 billion cubic feet per day (Buff/d) in 2016, or 97 percent of all U.S. natural gas imports. Total natural gas imports from Canada were valued at more than $5.9 billion in 2016.
Electricity makes up a small “but important” share of bilateral trade, EIA says. In 2015 and 2016, the value of U.S. imports of electricity from Canada averaged $2.2 billion, down slightly from an average of $2.4 billion from 2006 to 2014.
In 2016, the data show the U.S. imported 73 million megawatthours of electricity from Canada, while exporting 9.3 million megawatthours, based on data from Canada’s National Energy Board.
U.S. electricity trade with Canada is increasing, EIA notes, and the agency says that although the amount of electricity imported over the Canadian border is a small part of the overall U.S. power supply, the transmission connections linking Canada and the U.S. are an important component of electricity markets on both sides of the border, where they also support electric system reliability.