Canada’s oil producers made a small dent in their near-total dependence on the US market after a surge of shipments flowed to China and the UK last year.
The holder of the world’s third-largest crude reserves sent 3.43 million barrels a day, or 96.4 percent of its oil exports, to its southern neighbour, the smallest percentage in data stretching back to 1988, according to Statistics Canada. Shipments to China almost doubled to a still-minuscule 20,000 barrels a day and crude bound for the UK nearly tripled to 31,500
barrels a day.
Exports to Europe rose after production ramped up from Exxon Mobil Corp.’s new Hebron platform off the Newfoundland coast and tankers left the Vancouver area for China in the second half of the year. Canadian oil companies and Alberta’s government have pushed to ship more crude to Asia and markets other than the US, arguing
that the country would get a better price for its crude with more customers.
Canadian crude prices plunged last year relative to world benchmarks amid a glut caused by too few pipelines, a situation that grew so dire that Alberta’s government imposed mandatory production curtailments.