UPDATE 1-Oil sands executive says new rules level playing field

Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:12pm EST
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* Welcomes new oil sands investment rules

* Says changes will create "level playing field"

* Syncrude having production issues

* Shares down 1 pct

TORONTO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - The chief executive of one of Canada's largest oil sands companies said on Monday that new government rules limiting control of the Alberta oil sands by state-owned companies will be healthy for the industry.

Marcel Coutu, chief executive of Canadian Oil Sands Ltd , said the changes will allow investor-owned businesses to compete with the deep pockets of state-controlled corporations in the oil sands, the world's third-largest crude reserve.

Canadian Oil Sands is the largest shareholder in the Syncrude Canada project, one of the biggest operations in the oil sands.

"We now have a level playing field again, which I think will be very healthy for the industry," Coutu told reporters following a presentation to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers annual Investment Symposium.

"I would say now it's just back to a more business as usual type of approach to investing capital globally."   Continued...