Cenovus CEO expects 2019 capital spending of C$1.5 billion

FILE PHOTO - Cenovus Energy Inc Chief Executive Alex Pourbaix speaks to reporters at the company's headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Ethan Lou

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The chief executive of Cenovus Energy Inc CVE.TO said on Monday that he expects the company to invest some C$1.5 billion ($1.1 billion) in 2019, in line with 2018 capital spending, after the Alberta government's mandated oil output cuts boosted Canadian crude prices.

“My company will have a capital program that looks pretty similar to the program we had last year,” Alex Pourbaix said in an interview. “We’ll spend the better part of C$1.5 billion, give or take, and that would not have been the case if the government hadn’t take action.”

Pourbaix also said he now expects the Canadian heavy crude discount to be closer to $20 below the U.S. benchmark in 2019, rather than $30 to $45 below.

($1 = 1.3210 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Julie Gordon in Vancouver; Editing by Richard Chang