Demand and Consumption

Due to logistics and transportation costs, crude oil imports satisfy about half of domestic refinery demand. Refineries in western Canada run domestically produced crude oil, while refineries in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces run primarily imported crude oil. Refineries in Ontario run a mix of both imported and domestically produced crude oil.

On average, Ontario and Quebec account for about 60 per cent of the gasoline consumed in Canada. The western provinces account for about 32 per cent of Canada's gasoline consumption, while the remaining 8 per cent of gasoline is consumed in the Atlantic provinces and the Territories.

On average, Ontario and Quebec account for about 43 per cent of the diesel fuel consumed in Canada, while the western provinces account for about 46 per cent. The relatively greater dependence on diesel in western Canada reflects regional differences in fleet composition and the comparatively greater need to truck in most manufactured goods to the West from outside the region.

Due to the abundant supply of natural gas in Western Canada, relatively little furnace oil is consumed in this region. The western provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan) account for only 6 per cent of the furnace oil consumption in Canada. In contrast, Atlantic Canada (where natural gas is not an option in many markets) accounts for over 30 per cent of Canada's furnace oil consumption despite representing only 7 per cent of the Canadian population. Although Atlantic Canada consumes the most furnace oil on a per capita basis, Ontario and Quebec account for the majority (63 percent) of Canadian consumption measured in absolute terms.