Canadian oil production remained weak in September, falling by an estimated 0.22 mb/d to 3.447 mb/d, the lowest levels since June 2011. A series of outages impacted production: Suncor Energy's upgrader was taken down for unplanned maintenance and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNRL) suffered similar issues causing an upgrader to be taken offline for the full month. Further, the outage of a steam generator at Syncrude Canada's Aurora mine reduced synthetic output by 0.5 mb. Finally, CNRL also took down its 0.11 mb/d Horizon upgrader through to mid-late March to fix a fractionator unit, with the length of the shutdown significantly longer than the initial expectation of a two-to-three week outage. Among the planned maintenance, Suncor Energy's six week long turnaround on a vacuum tower at one of its upgraders continued through the month, taking the company's output down to 0.3 mb/d, which compares to 0.37 mb/d in August. Significant downward revisions were also made to July and August production figures by the NEB, with output now lower y/y by 0.1 mb/d and 0.18 mb/d respectively. Having increased through most of the year, conventional oil production, too, dipped in August, and again in September, falling y/y by 0.04 mb/d and 0.08 mb/d respectively, compared to the year-to-date average y/y increase of 0.1 mb/d.
Meanwhile, total oil demand was flat y/y at 2.404 mb/d in September, with gasoline and diesel the weakest parts of the barrel, declining y/y by 0.05 and 0.06 mb/d respectively. Crude oil inventories in September registered a build of 0.36 mb but remained below the five-year average for the third consecutive month, by 1.2 mb.