​Encana to focus 2018 spending in Permian, Montney plays after ending 2017 on a high note

Encana CEO Doug Suttles. Image: Encana

After coming out of 2017 ahead of its production growth targets, Encana said this week it would focus its 2018 capital spending on its core areas – specifically the Permian Basin in Texas and the Montney play that straddles Alberta and B.C.

Encana said it plans to spend “similar” to its 2017 $1.8-billion capital program this year, with “modest allocation adjustments to optimize delivery.” Approximately 70 percent of spending will be directed to its Permian and Montney assets.

Encana said that it increased production in the fourth quarter of 2017 by 31 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, ahead of its original target of greater than 20 percent and above the top end of its revised 25 to 30 percent guidance range.

The numbers have not yet been released for 2017, but Encana reported production of 352,700 boe/d in 2016.

The company expects to increase production by a further 25 to 35 percent from its core assets by the end of this year compared to 2017, with “significant” oil and condensate growth in the second half of the year.

Encana said it more than doubled liquids production in the Montney between 2016 and 2017, “driven by a focus on condensate rich wells and the early start-up of the Tower, Saturn and Sunrise processing plants.”

In 2018, the company said it expects to grow its liquids production as it fills capacity at the new plants and completes two additional liquids hubs in the second half of the year, further reducing its exposure to low regional natural gas pricing.

Encana's full 2018 plans will be released in mid-February.