AB crude oil levels grew faster under NDP than UCP

Even though total production has been higher under the UCP, the pace at which it has grown has slowed.

Earlier this month, Statistics Canada released data on oil and gas production for the end of 2021, and Alberta production was down significantly.

According to the data, Alberta produced 17.634 million m3 of crude oil in December 2021. That’s down from 18.007 million m3 in November and the record high of 18.533 million m3 in October.

That’s a drop of 20.7% and 48.5%, respectively.

Not only that, but December 2021 production levels were 40.6% lower than they were a year earlier, when we saw the province produce 18.381 million m3 of crude oil.

Here’s how December 2021 crude oil production levels in Alberta compare to those of other years. Statistics Canada went back to only 2016.

Last December saw the third lowest production levels over the past 6 Decembers and the lowest December since 2018.

Now that being said, the other months in 2021 made up for the drop in December. Take a look at the total production for each of the last 6 years.

Alberta saw a 8.38% increase in annual oil production last year over 2020. However, that increase comes after the only year that saw a decrease (4.93%) during this reporting period. And that was on the heels of 2019, which saw an increase of only 0.98%.

The Alberta oil sector has produced an annual average of 1.48% during the 3 years the UCP have been in power.

That compares to an annual average of 8.95% during the first two years of this reporting period, which occurred under the NDP administration.

All that being said, Alberta saw record exports in December, hitting 17.787 million m3.

That’s the highest ever seen in a month during this reporting period. the next highest was in March 2020, just at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when we exported 16.974 million m3 of oil.

The vast majority of it went to the United States.

In 2020, Alberta exported 179.625 million m3 of oil in total, and 99.48% of it went to the US. Last year, 99.62% of the 191.599 million m3 of oil they exported went to the US.

Numbers prior to 2020 are skewed, because prior to January 2020, Statistics Canada assigned exports to a province based on whether they cleared the Canada–US border in that province. They changed that in 2020, assigning the province based on where the product was loaded.

That being said, we can still calculate percentage of exports that went to the US, compared to other destinations.


Statistics Canada doesn’t break down non-US exports beyond just “other”.

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By Kim Siever

Kim Siever is an independent queer journalist based in Lethbridge, Alberta. He writes daily news articles, focusing on politics and labour.

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