Cenovus hikes oil sands production targets

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 7
-- Cenovus Energy Inc., Calgary, plans to increase its net oil sands production in Alberta by a factor of six to 400,000 b/d by the end of 2021 under a new strategy to accelerate development.

The company’s total net production then would be about 500,000 b/d.

Under the new strategy, the company expects to bring a new oil sands project phase on stream every 12-18 months. It also plans to drill about 450 stratigraphic wells/year during the next 5 years in preparation for oil sands development.

The company now expects its oil sands production to reach 350,000 b/d by the end of 2019—about 50,000 b/d more than it projected in its 2010 strategic plan.

Two thirds of the projected oil sands production will come from in situ projects in the Foster Creek and Christina Lake regions of Alberta, in which Cenovus is a 50-50 partner with ConocoPhillips (OGJ, Sept. 6, 2010, p. 98).

At Foster Creek, Cenovus has raised expected gross production capacity to 270,000-290,000 b/d from 235,000 b/d. It expects Phases F, G, and H each to have production capacity of 35,000 b/d, increases from earlier projections of 5,000 b/d each, with production from the latter two phases starting earlier than originally planned. It also has raised capacity estimates and is considering earlier production starts for future phases.

The company has begun steaming in Phase C of Christina Lake 6 weeks ahead of schedule and is completed half the construction of Phase D, which is 3-6 months ahead of schedule. It is assessing capacity increases and acceleration of future Christina Lake phases.

Gross production capacity at Christina Lake is expected to reach about 258,000 b/d when Phase H starts producing in 2019, unchanged from earlier forecasts.

In other oil sands projects, Cenovus expects production to start in 2016 at Narrows Lake, another 50-50 partnership with ConocoPhillips where gross capacity estimated at 130,000 b/d, and at Grand Rapids, where capacity is estimated at 180,000 b/d.

From its conventional oil projects, Cenovus expects production to increase by 2016 to 55,000 b/d from a first-quarter 2011 average of 21,360 b/d in the Pelican Lake region of Alberta, to 30,000-35,000 b/d from 20,251 b/d in Sasketchewan, and to 35,000-40,000 b/d from 28,916 b/d in southern Alberta.

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