Extract from production:
We forecast that Canadian liquids production in February decreased by 5 thousand b/d m/m to 5.24 mb/d after falling by 0.29 mb/d m/m in January. In situ production was higher by 64 thousand b/d, substantially reversing the mandated cuts seen in January. Production recovered in several fields including Suncor’s Firebag and Mackay River (+26 thousand b/d m/m), and CNRL’s Primrose and Wolf Lake (+11 thousand b/d m/m). This was partially offset by lower Synthetic production, down by 43 thousand b/d m/m. Conventional production was lower by 27 thousand b/d m/m with rigs only touching a high of 159, around 75 rigs lower than last year, before the spring break-up. Overall Canadian February production was flat y/y.
Final data for January reveal that total Canadian liquids production fell by 0.29 mb/d m/m to 5.24 mb/d (+0.17 mb/d y/y), a smaller decline than our estimate due to higher NGL production. NGL production increased from 49% of bitumen production on average in 2018 to 61% of bitumen in January. Bitumen production was lower by a massive 0.30 mb/d due to the mandated production cuts in Alberta, and conventional production also fell, by 11 thousand b/d, to 1.42 mb/d. This was partially offset by higher synthetic production (+40 thousand b/d m/m). Canadian stocks fell by 3.6 mb m/m with Alberta stocks lower by 5.3 mb m/m in January. This brings stocks lower by 7.2 mb since the highs in October 2018, representing roughly 45% of the targeted Alberta inventory reduction of 16 mb. After achieving a partial inventory improvement, Alberta relaxed the mandated reduction by 75 thousand b/d for February and March and by another 25 thousand b/d each month through June. However, preliminary February statistics for Alberta reflect a stockpile build of 3.9 mb m/m as a rally in differentials eliminated rail economics.
Extract from demand:
February Canadian demand hit 2.44 mb/d, higher y/y by 0.16 mb/d, led by 'other oils’ and as gasoline recovered from hitting its lowest levels in more than six years in January. Total demand in January was revised higher by 0.18 mb/d to now show a y/y drop of 91 thousand b/d.
Canadian gasoline demand rose by 43 thousand b/d y/y to 0.78 mb/d in February, as gasoline prices fell by 11.9% y/y. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 1.5% y/y, or up 2.1% y/y excluding gasoline. The private transportation portion of the CPI fell by 0.3% y/y, largely driven by a 2.1% y/y decrease in passenger operational expenses, including the reduction in gasoline prices. Employment numbers in Canada increased by 0.3% m/m as gains in full-time work, most notably in Ontario, led to the second consecutive month of m/m increases in employment.