Cenovus may restart another two deferred oil sands projects

Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:35pm EST
 
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By Nia Williams

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Canadian oil and gas producer Cenovus Energy Inc CVE.TO said on Thursday it is doing engineering and design work at two of its deferred oil sands projects in northern Alberta and it could potentially reactivate them in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

The two projects, Foster Creek phase H and Narrows Lake phase A, would add up to 75,000 barrels per day of production. That would be in addition to Cenovus' 50,000 bpd Christina Lake phase G project, which the company said in December it was restarting.

Chief Executive Brian Ferguson said Cenovus has not made a sanctioning decision yet but will provide more information on capital costs and timing of a decision in June.

"We've got a very clear, full portfolio of opportunities in the oil sands where we literally have the next five years of investment opportunity ahead of us," Ferguson told analysts on a quarterly earnings call.

Calgary-based Cenovus has committed to capacity on TransCanada Corp's (TRP.TO: Quote) proposed Keystone XL and Energy East pipelines, Ferguson said, although he did not specify volumes.

Ferguson also told Reuters in an interview that given Cenovus' oil sands growth outlook, the company is more likely to sell than buy any production assets, and a couple of conventional oil projects have been earmarked for sale when markets are deemed appropriate.

The remarks came as Cenovus reported a surprise fourth-quarter profit as production rose and costs fell.

The company said its oil sands operating costs fell 12 percent in 2016, while operating costs for its conventional oil assets fell 10 percent.   Continued...