The United States imports 8.4 million barrels of oil and petroleum products a day to help meet its energy needs. Canada is the largest supplier to the U.S., providing more than 2.4 million barrels a day – more than 1/4 – of these imports.
Canada has the third largest oil reserves in the world, with over 175 billion barrels of oil within its borders. Much of Canada’s oil is located in geologic formations that are a mixture of sand, water, clay and heavy, thick oil called bitumen. These natural formations are called oil sands.
Canada sends more than 99 percent of its oil exports to the United States, the bulk of which goes to Midwestern refineries for refining and processing. Oil from Canada is mainly transmitted to these refineries and other locations in the United States through oil pipelines.