The United States receives the largest share of energy imports from Canada, and it is the second-largest destination for U.S. energy exports behind only Mexico, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Energy accounted for 27%, or $85 billion, of the value of all U.S. imports from Canada. Crude oil and petroleum products comprised 91% of the value of U.S. energy imports from Canada and 89% of the value of U.S. energy exports to Canada.
The United States exported $23 billion worth of crude oil, petroleum products, natural gas and electricity to Canada in 2019, and this is about 8% of the value of all U.S. exports to Canada and the second-highest level recorded after reaching a peak in 2014.
U.S. crude oil imports from Canada comprised 56% of all crude oil imports to the United States in 2019, and they rose to an average of 3.8 million barrels per day, from 3.7 million barrels per day in 2018. The United States exported 459,000 barrels per day of crude oil to Canada in 2019, and it was the largest destination for U.S. crude oil exports. U.S. crude oil exports to Canada are typically light, sweet grades and are shipped to the eastern part of the country. U.S. crude oil imports from Canada are often heavy and come from oil sands in Alberta in the western part of the country, and the majority of the imports go to U.S. Midwest refineries.
Crude oil trade by rail has increased because pipeline capacity in Canada has not been sufficient to accommodate the rise in crude oil production. U.S. imports of crude oil by rail have more than tripled from an average of 91,000 barrels per day in 2016 to 300,000 barrels per day in 2019. More than half of the crude oil imported by rail went to the U.S. Gulf Coast region, which includes states such as Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.
Petroleum product trade between the United States and Canada has been balanced in volume and value. Canada is the largest source of U.S. petroleum and refined products imports, according to the EIA. The United States imported a record of 610,000 barrels per day of petroleum products from Canada in 2019, and this accounted for 26% of all U.S. petroleum product imports last year.
Nearly all natural gas trade between the United States and Canada is via pipeline. Natural gas imports from Canada were 7.4 billion cubic feet per day and valued at $6 billion in 2019. The majority of the natural gas imports went to the West and Midwest. The majority of U.S. natural gas exports go to eastern Canada.
The trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico (USMCA) that will go into effect in July is expected to have little effect on energy trade between Canada and the United States, according to a report from the International Trade Commission.