Oilsands heavyweight Canadian Natural Resources Limited expects that completion of its new Kirby North thermal project will be completed in Q2/2019, two quarters ahead of schedule.
The 40,000-bbl/d SAGD facility south of Fort McMurray is an expansion to its 40,000-bbl/d Kirby South project that started operating in 2013.
The company started building Kirby North in 2014 but put the project on hold in early 2015 due to deteriorating market conditions. Construction was restarted in late 2016, at which point the project's total capital cost was projected at $1.35 billion.
Canadian Natural credits “top tier execution and strong productivity” with the accelerated completion schedule.
The project now targets first steam in the second quarter, with the “flexibility” to ramp up production in late Q3.
Canadian Natural reiterated on Thursday that it “strongly supports the Government of Alberta's mandatory production curtailment program announced in late 2018.”
Despite recording a $776 million net loss in the fourth quarter of 2018 due to reduced oil pricing, Canadian Natural reported full-year net income of $2.6 billion, up from $2.4 billion in 2017.