CALGARY, Alberta, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Canadian Natural Resources Ltd’s (CNQ.TO) natural gas output, which has been waning as the company shifted spending to higher-return oil, should reach its lowest level by the end of next year, then climb again in 2011, the company’s president said on Thursday.
Canadian Natural’s Steve Laut also said North American natural gas markets could remain weak next year, as supplies of unconventional gas will likely increase quickly if there are any price hikes.
“A greater emphasis to deeper, longer life and more expensive wells will result in the decline in our gas production effectively bottoming out in Q4, 2010, and position us to return to gas growth in 2011,” Laut said on a conference call.
Laut also said the company will likely be in a position to sanction the next expansion phase of its Horizon oil sands project in Alberta by early 2011. (Reporting by Jeffrey Jones; editing by Peter Galloway)