CDI Corporation

Canadian company to aim for million-barrel target if oil prices rise

Canadian Natural Resources will up its output to one million barrels of oil equivalent a day within the next three years if prices improve, according to an announcement from its president last month.

Company president Steve Laut told CTV News that annual spending of the company would advance to about $4.5 billion per year through 2019 if oil prices reach US$60 a barrel. The target is also dependent on whether or not natural gas prices rise above US$3 a gigajoule.

As the largest producer of conventional heavy oil and natural gas in Canada, Canadian Natural is currently expanding at its Horizon oil sands mine – a project that will wrap by late 2017. The company plans to add 45,000 barrels of oil every day for the rest of the year and an additional 80,000 per day next year at this site. Project spending will amount to $3 billion, noted the source.

The Globe and Mail reported that analysts approved of the approach by Canadian Natural to grow production.

“Post 2017 investment opportunities are likely to be a balance of shorter-cycle and medium-term investment opportunities,” analyst Michael Dunn of FirstEnergy Capital said in a report.

Moreover, the expansion at Horizon will help to free up capital that the Calgary-based company can then invest in its portfolio of budding drilling opportunities, noted Laut.