Canada's oil industry produced more than 3.8 million barrels of oil per day last year and is part of the global crude oil market. Crude oil is one of the most actively traded commodities in the world. Because of this, oil prices change daily in response to changing conditions that affect supply and demand.
Oil meets close to 40 per cent of Canada's total energy needs though a variety of products created through refining. On average, refining crude oil yields the following range of products:
- Gasoline to fuel most cars, some trucks, piston-driven aircraft and other machines, such as emergency generators
- Diesel fuel to fuel some cars, most trucks and buses, railway locomotives, boats and ships and larger electric generators
- Other products including as asphalt for road paving and roofing, lubricants such as motor oil and grease, waxes for candles and polishes and the materials for petrochemicals such as polystyrene and synthetic rubber
- Heavy fuel oil for electric power generation, large ships and some industrial processes
- Light fuel oil for heating homes and buildings, many industrial processes and the fuel for some ships
- Aviation jet fuel for turbine-powered airplanes
Heavy oil and bitumen are used to make the same petroleum products as conventional forms of crude oil, but require more processing.