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Updated June 2021


Figure S4.6 shows the historical and forecast of Alberta’s refinery demand and removal of crude oil.


In 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has put downward pressure on oil demand for transportation fuels, such as gasoline and jet fuel, as people work from home and reduce travel. Alberta demand for crude oil was 17.4 thousand cubic metres per day (103 m3/d) or 109.2 thousand barrels per day (103 bbl/d) in 2020, a decrease from 18.6 103 m3/d (117.0 103 bbl/d) in 2019.

Figure S4.7 shows Alberta’s operating refineries in 2020 had an estimated total combined throughput of 80.7 103 m3/d (507.8 103 bbl/d) of crude oil equivalent, representing a utilization rate of 94 per cent for throughput to refinery capacity.

Of the total throughput

  • 26 per cent was crude oil and pentanes,
  • 65 per cent was synthetic crude oil, and
  • 9 per cent was nonupgraded bitumen.

Forecast for 2021 to 2030

As the economy slowly recovers from effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, so will the demand for oil. Alberta demand for crude oil is projected to increase to 18.6 103 m3/d (117.0 103 bbl/d) by 2023. Without new refineries or significant expansions, Alberta demand is expected to remain relatively unchanged with consistent refinery throughputs and removals projected to increase throughout the forecast period.


In 2020

In Alberta, 74 per cent of the 67.4 103 m3/d (424.3 103 bbl/d) total crude oil produced was removed, compared with 76 per cent in 2019. All oil inventories were assumed to eventually be removed from Alberta. Total oil removals (upgraded and nonupgraded bitumen plus crude oil and pentanes plus) in 2020 was 507.5 103 m3/d (3.2 106 bbl/d), with crude oil accounting for 50.1 103 m3/d (315.0 103 bbl/d), or roughly 10 per cent of removals.

Forecast for 2021 to 2030

Crude oil removals from Alberta are expected to increase by 7 per cent, to 53.4 103 m3/d (335.9 103 bbl/d) by 2024, and then decline to 51.6 103 m3/d (324.7 103 bbl/d) by 2030, trending with the forecast for crude oil production and no new refineries or significant expansions to Alberta crude oil demand.

Total oil removals are expected to increase to 704.6 103 m3/d (4.4 106 bbl/d) by 2030, while the share of crude oil removals is expected to fall to about 7 per cent owing to continued growth in nonupgraded bitumen production. Pipeline takeaway capacities are projected to increase during the forecast period and support increased total oil production and removals.

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