Crude oil imports to Canada by region of origin 2018

In 2018, Canada imported 18.8 million metric tons of crude oil from the United States, which was the largest quantity Canada imported from of any country.

Canadian crude oil

In 1858, the first oil deposit in North America was found in Ontario, Canada. Today, however, Canada’s largest volume of crude oil is produced in Alberta, where the Athabasca oil sands are located. Although Canada is a net exporter of crude oil, Canada also imports crude oil due to a variety of factors. These factors include varying oil types: Canada produces mainly heavy crude oil, yet has demand for light crude oil nevertheless. International oil prices are another factor. While the U.S. is Canada’s largest source of crude oil imports, the U.S. is also the largest importer of Canadian crude oil by a large margin.

History of crude oil and its uses

The beginning of the developed oil industry can be traced back to 1837 in Baku, Azerbaijan, where the first oil refinery was created. Seven years later, came the first modern oil well. This oil well accounted for more than 90 percent of the world’s oil production. More commercial oil wells were gradually developed in Poland, Romania, Canada, and the United States. The first major oil company was the Standard Oil Company, created by John. D. Rockefeller. Crude oil is refined into petroleum, which is then used for heating buildings, creating electricity, gasoline, and among others.

Crude oil imports to Canada in 2018, by region of origin

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Release date

June 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Commonwealth of Independent States.
Canada also imported less than 0.05 metric tons of crude oil from Kuwait, China, Mexico, the Middle East, and countries from the Australasia region.

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