U.S. imports of Canadian crude oil rose to record levels during the first eight months of 2012, with Canada accounting for a growing share of total gross U.S. imports. The United States is importing more crude oil from Canada, even though the total amount of crude oil America buys from foreign suppliers is falling.
Canada is the largest supplier of foreign oil to the United States, followed by Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Venezuela. Almost 99% of Canadian oil exports are sent to the U.S. market. Canada accounted for approximately 25% of U.S. crude oil imports in 2011, averaging 2.2 million barrels per day.
The importance of Canadian crude oil to U.S. refiners has increased in 2012, as Canada supplied the United States with a record of nearly 2.5 million barrels per day during January-August 2012, according to the latest oil trade data from EIA. At the same time, total U.S. crude oil imports fell from 8.9 million barrels per day in 2011 to 8.7 million barrels per day through August 2012. As a result, the share of Canadian oil as a percentage of total U.S. oil imports during the eight-month period increased to 28%.