Moving it to Market
Traveling along with Alberta’s natural gas, oil, and coal in 2016
Alberta’s energy resources—oil, natural gas, and coal—are in demand. Our biggest customer continues to be the United States, though markets in Alberta, across Canada, and in Asia and Europe are also thirsty for these products.
In 2016, 83 per cent of total oil (including bitumen and crude) produced in Alberta was destined for the United States, an increase of 6 per cent over 2015; 17 per cent was sent across Canada.
Alberta’s demand for natural gas accounted for 51 per cent of the province’s production in 2016, up 2 per cent from the previous year, while the remaining 49 per cent was shipped across Canada and to the United States.
Alberta produces three types of coal:
- subbituminous – used to generate electricity in Alberta,
- metallurgical bituminous – used to make steel, and
- thermal bituminous – used to fuel electrical generators overseas.
All of Alberta’s subbituminous coal remains in the province. Nearly 100 per cent is used to generate electricity in Alberta and less than one per cent is used for residential heating and industrial purposes.
At 66 per cent, Asia and British Columbia had the biggest appetite for Alberta’s bituminous coal (both metallurgical and thermal), followed by 22 per cent in the United States and South America, and 12 per cent in Europe.