Canadian crude-by-rail exports to the U.S. rose 48% in October vs. the previous month, National Energy Board (NEB) data showed on Jan. 11, as volumes recovered from a steep slump earlier in the year.
Canada shipped 102,554 barrels per day (bbl/d) of crude oil by rail in October, up from 69,292 bbl/d the previous month.
However, the October total was still 39% lower than the volume shipped the same month one year earlier.
Crude-by-rail shipments in Canada have fallen off sharply since peaking at about 180 Mbbl/d in late 2014 due to weak global crude prices and sufficient takeaway capacity on Canadian export pipelines.
Volumes dwindled to four-year lows of about 43 Mbbl/d in June, but with production from northern Alberta's oil sands expected to climb and limited space on pipelines, some analysts expect crude by rail to pick up again.
"If you just look at the supply growth we are anticipating this year and you consider the takeaway capacity, I think we will see rail volumes increase throughout 2017," said ARC Financial analyst Jackie Forrest.
Crude oil output from western Canada is forecast to increase by about 230 Mbbl/d in 2017.