UPDATE 2-Canada's MEG posts record oil output, eyes new export routes

Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:50pm EDT
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* First-quarter production hits record high

* Sends oil by barge, plans rail shipments to reach U.S.

* High costs, weak Canadian dollar behind 1st-qtr loss

* Shares up 8 pct, largest single-day gain in a year

By Sandhya Vijayan

April 24 (Reuters) - Canadian oil sands producer MEG Energy Corp posted record quarterly output and opened up new export routes to the United States, putting its shares on track for their biggest one-day percentage gain in a year.

MEG's stock rose as much as 8 percent on Wednesday after the company said it had begun sending crude across the border on barges to avoid congestion in the main pipeline linking the oil sands of Alberta to U.S. refineries.

Chief Executive Bill McCaffrey said MEG also planned to ship "significant" volumes of crude by rail in the second half of the year.

"As we continue through 2013, we expect to deliver increasing volumes to higher-priced markets," McCaffrey said in a statement accompanying first-quarter results.   Continued...