Canada is a major player in the global crude oil market as it is in the top five countries globally in oil reserves, production, and exportation. Much of the oil produced out of the Canadian oil sands is from Alberta, and this oil, commonly referred to as bitumen, is a heavy-sour crude grade. Over half of the bitumen is mined in large, above-ground operations, and the rest is produced by drilling wells. Cogent is a purchaser of Canadian Crude, which is sold in the US markets.

The U.S. and Canadian crude markets are highly integrated.  Of the 4 MMbbl/d of crude produced in Canada, 60-70% of the total production is exported to the U.S., which is essentially all of the crude Canada does not consume itself.  These imported barrels from Canada makes up over 40% of all crude imports into the U.S.  Edmonton and Hardisty are the two most important crude oil trading hubs in Canada.  Most of the crude that comes into the U.S. from Canada comes across the border by pipeline, with the two largest pipeline systems being Enbridge Mainline and TansCanada Keystone.  Crude-by-rail also plays an important role and continues to grow in importance in transporting crude across the border.