June 26, 2012 / 11:14 AM / in 5 years

RPT-UPDATE 1-Nexen speeds up production at Long Lake

June 26 (Reuters) - Canadian oil company Nexen Inc said it has taken less time than expected to start producing at a section in its Long Lake project in Alberta, helped by the use of new technologies to ready wells.

The company is ramping up production at the C$6.1 billion Long Lake project, which has not yet reached its targeted capacity of 72,000 barrels of bitumen per day.

Nexen was able to begin production from Pad 12 at the project by using Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) technology after about 70 days, compared with its prior expectation of 90 to 120 days.

SAGD is an oil recovery technology for producing heavy crude oil and bitumen. It uses high pressure steam to pump out oil from wells.

Nexen has a 65 percent working interest in Long Lake and is the operator. The remaining 35 percent stake is held by CNOOC Canada Inc .

The company has forecast production of 190,000 to 235,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day (boe/d) for the current quarter, as it expects output at its Long Lake oil sands project to move closer to capacity.

Nexen’s shares, which have lost 15 percent over the last three months, closed at C$15.75 on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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