CNRL's learnings from first month as AOSP operator
Canadian Natural Resources (CNRL) provided an update this week on its first month as the new majority owner of the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) and operator of the Albian Sands Mine.
Albian produced 289,000 bbl/day during the month of June (202,300 bbl/day net to CNRL). Albian includes both the Muskeg River and Jackpine mines which have a combined gross nameplate capacity of 255,000 bbl/day.
A barrel of upgraded crude produced at Albian cost the company $27.50, while operating costs for CNRL's Horizon oil sands operation was reported at $22.09 a barrel averaged over the entire second quarter.
Total production at CNRL topped 1 million boe/day in the month of June, a new record for the company. The company says the second half of the year will be another "inflection point" in its history as production from AOSP will be fully reflected and its Phase 3 expansion at Horizon comes online.
Phase 3 components will be tied-in during a September maintenance turnaround. The shutdown has been extended from 25 to 45 days to debottleneck the fractionator, vacuum distillate unit and diluent recovery unit furnaces. Once Phase 3 is complete, Horizon's nameplate capacity should increase to 250,000 bbl/day.
The company has also deferred about $315 million in capital spending for Horizon's fine tailings management program in order to "leverage" any learnings from Albian's fine tailings management experience. Both Albian and CNRL use thickeners to dewater fine tailings before deposition into the tailings storage pond.
CNRL 2017 SECOND QUARTER RESULTS