OTTAWA, July 27 (UPI) -- Canadian oil production increased 6 percent in 2011, a 1 percent increase from the previous year, in part due to oil sands production, the government said.
Canada's National Energy Board said energy production in the country increased in 2011 overall despite depressed demand in the lackluster economy. Gross domestic product in Canada increased 2.6 percent in 2011 compared with 3.4 percent reported for 2010. Global GDP for 2011 was 3.8 percent.
The NEB said electricity generation and petroleum contributed in large part to a 3.0 percent growth in energy production in 2011 compared with a 1.1 percent growth rate reported for 2010.
In terms of crude oil production, the country averaged 3 million barrels of oil per day, a 6 percent increase from the previous year.
"The increase is largely attributable to additional oil sands activity," the NEB stated. "Mined bitumen production, in situ bitumen production and upgrading all reached new highs in 2011."
The Canadian government is supporting regional efforts to build crude oil pipelines from oil sands operations in Alberta to the country's west coast in an effort to reach Asian markets. TransCanada aims to build its Keystone XL pipeline through the United States.
Oil sand operations are controversial, however, in large part because of pipeline failures. A 2010 release of oil sands from a pipeline through southern Michigan is the costliest onshore incident on record in the United States.