Syncrude: 203,000 b/d in 2000

The Syncrude Canada Ltd. consortium says it produced 74.2 million bbl�or an average 203,000 b/d�of its sweet blend crude in 2000 at its Fort McMurray, Alta., oil sands operation. Production was down slightly from a September forecast of 75 million bbl, but the consortium said it completed extensive maintenance work that should provide excellent plant conditions in 2001.


CALGARY�The Syncrude Canada Ltd. consortium says it produced 74.2 million bbl�or an average 203,000 b/d�of its sweet blend crude in 2000 at its Fort McMurray, Alta., oil sands operation.

Production was down slightly from a September forecast of 75 million bbl, but the consortium said it completed extensive maintenance work that should provide excellent plant conditions in 2001. Syncrude also reported higher production costs of $17.45/bbl, due to maintenance and plant turnaround costs and much higher costs to buy natural gas and power.

The original target was $12.25/bbl. Operating costs for 2001are targeted at less than $13 bbl.

The production goal for 2001 has been set at 246,000-257,000 b/d.

Syncrude chairman and CEO Eric Newell said 2000 was a year of both achievement and operational challenge.

Operating costs in 2000 were $1.2 billion, compared to $932 million in 1999. Capital spending in 2000 was $510 million, compared to $752 million in 1999.

The consortium said it set three new production records in 2000, including a daily production record of 287,000 bbl of crude on August 19.

The new Aurora Mine opened in August, 22 miles north of Syncrude�s main operation at Mildred Lake (OGJ Online, Aug. 17, 2000).

It is the first remote mine/extraction facility in the oil sands industry. The new mine was completed on schedule and within 10% of its planned capital budget.

Syncrude said it plans capital spending of more than $900 million in 2001, the largest in the group�s history. It said two stages have been completed of a planned four-stage, $8 billion capital investment program.

Stage three includes a major expansion of the Mildred Lake bitumen upgrader as well as an additional production train at the Aurora Mine. Stage three is scheduled for completion in third quarter 2004.

Syncrude is a joint venture operated by Syncrude Canada Ltd. and owned by AEC Oil Sands LP, AEC Oil Sands LP, Athabasca Oil Sands Investment Inc., Canadian Oil Sands Investment Inc., Gulf Canada Resources Ltd., Imperial Oil Resources Ltd., Mocal Energy Ltd., Murphy Oil Company Ltd., Nexen Inc., and Petro-Canada.

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