June 20, 2018 / 11:12 PM / 5 months ago

CNOOC moves ahead with Canada oil sand expansion

June 20 (Reuters) - Nexen Energy, a unit of China’s CNOOC Ltd, said on Wednesday that it would move ahead with the construction of its C$400 million ($300.5 million) Long Lake Southwest expansion project in northern Alberta.

The expansion will boost output at CNOOC’s Long Lake oil sands facility by 26,000 barrels per day. The company said construction will begin shortly, with first oil expected in late 2020.

The investment decision comes as many foreign companies have exited Canada’s oil sands, frustrated with high costs and a lack of new pipeline infrastructure. Canadian oil trades at a discount to the U.S. benchmark due to transportation constraints.

“We remain committed to growing our Canadian production profile, and our oil sands assets are an important component of this strategy,” the company said in a statement. ($1 = 1.3310 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Julie Gordon in Vancouver; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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