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Suncor to increase production by 10 per cent in 2019

Last Updated Dec 14, 2018 at 7:54 am MDT

A pedestrian is reflected in a Suncor Energy sign in Calgary, Monday, Feb. 1, 2010. Suncor Energy Inc. says it is in the process of restarting production at its Edmonton refinery after it was knocked offline by a power outage on Tuesday afternoon. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Suncor announced Friday that it expects an average upstream production of 780,000 to 820,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in 2019. An increase of around 10 per cent from 730,000 boe/d in 2018.

The company said the increase in production includes estimated mandatory production curtailments. It added that their initial production cap has actually been made higher than the 8.7 per cent announced in early December, but wouldn’t say by how much.

In a statement released on Dec. 14, it said the higher cap “creates several potential unintended consequences,” including an impact on safe and reliable operating levels. It’s reviewing various issues it feels are impacted by the cap with the province and the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).

Suncor also announced a 2019 capital program between $4.9 and $5.6 billion dollars.

“As we look to 2019, the planned capital spend will include low capital intensity, high-return projects aimed at margin improvements, enhancing midstream logistics infrastructure and cost reduction initiatives to be implemented in the 2020 to 2023 timeframe.” said Steve Williams, CEO of Suncor.

Nearly 40 per cent of the capital budget will go towards low capital intensity, value-creating projects like the implementation of autonomous hall trucks and the development of the Syncrude bi-directional pipeline, which will connect Syncrude’s Mildred Lake site with Suncor’s Oil Sands Base plant.

Continuing operations and maintenance activities will see 63 per cent of the capital budget to ensure safe and efficient operations.

The statement also said Fort Hills hit target rates in the fourth quarter of 2018 and Hebron is ahead of schedule.