​Record turnaround at Horizon drops overall Canadian production in September

Image: Canadian Natural Resources

The largest maintenance turnaround in the history of Canadian Natural Resources led a dip in overall Canadian oil production in September, according to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The turnaround at the integrated Horizon oilsands mining and upgrading project, which Canadian Natural noted was a 1.3-million man-hour event, resulted in the reduction of about 175,000 bbls/d.

This turnaround facilitated the tie-in of the new 80,000 bbl/d Horizon Phase 3 expansion, increasing Horizon SCO capacity to about 250,000 bbls/d.

Overall Canadian oil production averaged 4.7 million bbls/d in September, which includes a reduction in bitumen production of 37,000 bbls/d to 1.69 million bbls/d, according to the IEA.

“For the first nine months of 2017, Canadian oil output posted average annual growth of 380,000 bbls/d, albeit from a low base case in 2016 when wildfires shut in a significant proportion of Albertan oil output,” the IEA reported.

“For 2017 as a whole, Canadian production is expected to expand by 275,000 bbls/d, followed by a gain of around 235,000 bbls/d in 2018.”

In all, the IEA expects non-OPEC production to grow by 680,000 bbls/d on average in 2017 and accelerate to 1.44 million bbls/d next year, of which US crude oil production represents 55 percent. Canada, the UK and Brazil are “other notable sources of growth.”