Canadian Oil Sands sees higher output for Syncrude in 2012

Thu Dec 8, 2011 9:53am EST
 
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(Reuters) - Canadian Oil Sands Ltd COS.TO expects production to rise at the Syncrude Canada Ltd oil sands project next year and said its spending will more than double as it pours more money into major infrastructure projects.

Canadian Oil Sands, which has a 37 percent stake in Syncrude development near Fort McMurray, Alberta, now expects production of 106-117 million barrels from the project in 2012, up from an estimated output of 105-107 million barrels for this year.

The company had expected to increase production from Syncurde, one of the two largest Canadian oil sands developments, by 71 percent by 2020. Capacity is currently about 350,000 barrel per day (bpd).

In November, Syncrude Canada suffered an outage of one of its coker units, reducing output by 100,000 bpd. That was on top of unplanned maintenance on another piece of equipment that was expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Canadian Oil Sands expects to spend C$1.46 billion on the project next year, up from its 2011 estimate of C$691 million.

The company said about C$974 million will be spent on major infrastructure projects that should position Syncrude for 10-20 years of production.

Canadian Oil Sands expects sales to total C$3.68 billion, based on a WTI crude oil price assumption of $85 per barrel. In 2011, the company was expecting sales of C$4.0 billion, based on crude oil prices of $92 per barrel.

Syncrude's other partners are Imperial Oil Ltd (IMO.TO: Quote), Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote), Nexen Inc NXY.TO, Sinopec 600688.SS, JX Holdings 5030.T unit Mocal Energy and Murphy Oil Corp (MUR.N: Quote).

Imperial Oil Ltd (IMO.TO: Quote), the second-largest interest holder with 25 percent, said last month it aims to focus on reliability while holding off on capacity additions until the end of the decade. Major capital projects must be approved by all of the partners.   Continued...