Imperial/Exxon to spend $560 million on Kearl oilsands mine production boost

Facilities at the Kearl oilsands mine. Image: Imperial Oil

Imperial Oil says that production at the Kearl oilsands mine in 2020 will be about 60,000 bbls/d higher than it was in 2017.

This will be the result of “improvement activities” conducted last year as well as a new project that will run through 2018 and 2019.

Kearl averaged 178,000 bbls/d for the full year 2017 against capacity of 220,000 bbls/d, Imperial announced on Friday. This compares to 169,000 bbls/d in 2016.

Imperial plans to reach 200,000 bbls/d this year and then 240,000 bbls/d in 2020 after investing in supplemental crushing capacity and flow distribution interconnects to enhance reliability, increase redundancy and reduce downtime, the company said. Its share of the project will be $400 million, indicating that the full cost will be approximately $563 million including ExxonMobil’s 29 percent ownership investment.

Imperial reported a net loss of $137 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, which includes impairment charges of $566 million associated with the Horn River development and the Mackenzie gas project.

This compares with net income of $1.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, which included a $988 million gain from the sale of retail sites.