Total Canadian production levels (based on preliminary data) recovered to 3.899 mb/d in July, higher y/y by 282 thousand barrels. Oil sands production continued its upward trend, reaching 1.83 mb/d which equates to 47% of total Canadian output. Despite reviving m/m as upgraders returned from maintenance, the y/y change of 140 thousand b/d represents a fall relative to the trailing three month average y/y increase of 238 thousand b/d.
Conventional oil production was 2.07 mb/d, higher y/y by 142 thousand b/d. The deployment of horizontal drilling and fracking technologies has not only stabilised decline rates but has reversed the trend of falling production and following two years of negative y/y growth, production actually increased by 38 thousand b/d across 2011. In the year-to-July, conventional output is higher by a substantial 173 thousand b/d, the highest growth levels since early last
More recently, Canada's oil sands faced several setbacks with nearly 400 thousand b/d of synthetic crude production taken offline in September. Suncor Energy, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd and Syncrude Canada all had issues with their upgraders, forcing them offline.
Meanwhile, total oil demand remained range bound at 2.45 mb/d, broadly flat y/y. Kerosene and LPG were the weakest parts of the barrel, declining slightly y/y. Diesel and gasoline demand remained strong, up y/y by 40 thousand b/d and 26 thousand b/d respectively. Crude oil inventories continued to decline, with July inventories down by 1.5 mb m/m and below the five year average by 0.70 mb.