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2016 not a bad year for Albian Sands despite wildfires

2016 not a bad year for Albian Sands despite wildfires

Marathon Oil provided an update on Albian Sands this week. The company says fourth quarter production averaged 235,000 bbl/day, down from a record high of 290,000 bbl/day in Q3. The decline was blamed on planned maintenance activities during the quarter. 

Despite the spring wildfires which forced the evacuation of the mine site, the facility managed to average 240,000 bbl/day last year, up from an average of 237,000 bbl/day in 2015.

Albian Sands includes the Muskeg River Mine and adjacent Jackpine expansion, which have a combined nameplate capacity of 255,000 bbl/day. The mines produces partially deasphalted bitumen, which is pipelined to the Scotford Upgrader for conversion into light/sweet crude.

ALBIAN SANDS PRODUCTION PROFILE

ATHABASCA OIL SANDS PROJECT
(COURTESY SHELL CANADA)

For the full year 2016, operating costs declined 20% to US$27.89 per barrel of SCO (synthetic crude oil) produced at Scotford (which roughly translates into $37/bbl). Fourth quarter operating expenses declined 5% from Q4/2015 to US$26.52 per barrel. 

The average selling price for the company's SCO in the fourth quarter was US$43.35/bbl. As a point of comparison, West Texas Intermediate averaged about US$49/bbl in Q4.

Scotford produces two streams of light/sweet crude, primarily Shell Synthetic Light and Premium Albian Synthetic, as well as a partially upgraded heavy/sour blend (Albian Heavy Synthetic).

For the full year 2016, SCO realization prices averaged US$37.57, down from US$40.13 the previous year.

Marathon Oil owns a 20% stake in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, which includes the Scotford Upgrader. The remainder is owned by Chevron (20%) and Shell (60%).



SOURCES:
MARATHON OIL • FOURTH QUARTER 2016: FINANCIAL & OPERATING REVIEW • FEB 2017
MARATHON OIL • Q4/2016 RESULTS • FEB 2017
Cenovus returns to profitability and lays out a plan for growing SAGD footprint

Cenovus returns to profitability and lays out a plan for growing SAGD footprint

As DAPL saga begins to wind down, company executives plead for sanity in pipeline wars

As DAPL saga begins to wind down, company executives plead for sanity in pipeline wars

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