November 9, 2011 / 2:53 AM / in 6 years

UPDATE 1-Suncor expects 12 pct increase in oil sands output

* Cautiously optimistic on returning to opers in Libya

* To spend C$3.6 bln on growth projects

(Adds detail on production)

Nov 8 (Reuters) - Canada’s largest oil and gas producer Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) forecast a 12 percent rise in its oil sands production in 2012 and expects to spend about C$3.6 billion ($3.55 billion) towards growth projects in the coming year.

The dominant oil sands producer sees oil sands output to average between 325,000-355,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) next year, up from the expected oil sands production of 300,000-310,000 boepd in 2011.

The company, whose 2012 production outlook assumes no production for Libya, said it is “cautiously” optimistic about returning to operations in Libya as it formulates a re-entry plan.

Production in Libya was halted earlier this year because of the country’s civil war.

The 2012 capital expenditure budget forecast of C$7.5 billion that Suncor gave last week is above C$6.7 billion in 2010.

Last year, the company pledged to raise output from the oil sands by 10 percent a year through 2020.

Suncor shares closed at C$33.29 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The shares have fallen 7.9 percent over the past 12 months against a 4.3 percent drop in the exchange’s benchmark index.

($1=$1.01 Canadian)

Reporting by Vaishnavi Bala in Bangalore, editing by Bernard Orr

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