Canadian Natural sees 17 percent rise in 2018 production

(Reuters) - Canadian Natural Resources Ltd CNQ.TOCNQ.N on Tuesday forecast a 17 percent rise in 2018 production, although it lowered its capital budget for the year.

The company joins a growing a list of North American oil producers that have cranked up their oil output, while cutting back on spending.

“Modest drilling programs will ensure cost control, which is essential in this commodity price environment,” Chief Operating Officer Tim McKay said in a statement

Canada’s largest independent petroleum producer said overall production in 2018 is expected to range between 1.1 million and 1.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).

The company is estimating 2017 production of 833,000 to 883,000 boe/d.

Overall crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs) production is expected to range between 815,000 and 885,000 barrels/day in 2018, up 23 percent from a year earlier, helped by the completion of the phase 3 expansion at its Horizon oil sands project.

The company plans to spend C$4.3 billion ($3.37 billion) in 2018, lower than C$4.9 billion in 2017.

Last week, the company reported a third-quarter profit, rebounding from a year-earlier loss, helped by higher production and average realized prices for crude oil and NGLs.

Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva