Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. said it completed several milestones at its Horizon Oil Sands project in northern Alberta in the third quarter, en route to production of 250,000 b/d of synthetic crude oil by 2017 (OGJ Online, Feb. 15, 2012).
CNR installed absorber towers for the gas recovery unit in September as part of a reliability phase. The company also installed coke drums in August as part of Phase 2A and plans to expand the coker plant to alleviate a bottleneck. Phase 2A is about 70% complete and on schedule for completion in 2015, which would add 10,000 b/d of capacity.
Phase 2B, about 20% complete, would increase bitumen yield through the addition of a vacuum distillation unit. It targets an additional 45,000 b/d in 2016.
Phase 3 is about 19% complete and on schedule to add 80,000 b/d in 2017, bringing production capacity to 250,000 b/d. Phase 3 will expand capacity by adding extraction Trains 3 and 4.
CNR said September production at Horizon averaged 117,200 b/d. It expects fourth quarter volumes to average 110,000-115,000 b/d.
As of Oct. 8, CNR expected heavy oil differentials to price at a 26% discount to West Texas Intermediate in October and 32% in November and December.