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First oil for CNRL's Kirby North project expected by the end of 2019

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) announced Wednesday that its Kirby North Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) project could see first oil ahead of schedule.

In a statement released Wednesday, the Calgary-based company said completion of the project is targeted for the third quarter of 2019, with first oil in the fourth, a quarter earlier than planned.

The company expects production to ramp up to 40,000 barrels per day in the first half of 2021.

CNRL said it will monitor the impact of mandatory curtailment in 2019 as well as the progress of Keystone XL and Trans Mountain and adjust its 2019 capital budget accordingly.

It’s targeting a 2019 base capital budget of $3.7 billion, which is around $1 billion less than 2018 forecast due to “lack of market access and a dysfunctional pipeline nomination process.”

The capital budget includes $3.1 billion to “keep production flat” and around $600 million to go towards long-term growth projects.

 

If the market improves, the company said it could invest additional capital up to around $700 million.

In the release it also notes Thermal in Situ production would increase 7 per cent from 2018 and Mining and Upgrading is targeted to increase by 2 per cent.