CALGARY, Alberta, Jan. 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Suncor today provided an operations update for the fourth quarter of 2018, highlighting total upstream production of 831,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), which is a quarterly production record and represents an increase of 12% from the third quarter of 2018. This record-breaking quarter reflects the results of the significant investment developing Fort Hills, and Suncor’s ongoing operational excellence focus across its assets, particularly at the Syncrude joint venture.
Oil sands operations produced approximately 433,000 barrels per day (bbls/d) in the quarter. Fort Hills produced 183,000 bbls/d for the quarter, approximately 100,000 bbls/d net to Suncor, representing 94% of nameplate capacity. Syncrude production was 355,000 bbls/d for the quarter, 209,000 bbls/d net to Suncor, representing 101% of nameplate capacity, and reflecting a new quarterly production record. Total production from Exploration & Production was 90,000 boe/d during the fourth quarter.
Refining and Marketing operations demonstrated solid reliability with average refinery utilization of 101% for record quarterly crude throughput of 468,000 bbls/d. Refined product demand remained strong during the quarter.
“Fort Hills successfully completed its production ramp up ahead of schedule with production exceeding our guidance of 90% utilization for the quarter,” said Steve Williams, chief executive officer. “During the quarter we had strong operational performance across our mining and in situ assets with Syncrude producing at record volumes and solid performance from Oil Sands operations, reflecting our focus on safety and operational excellence. Our integrated strategy and continued focus on value-added businesses has positioned us to perform well through volatile market conditions.”
In December 2018, the Government of Alberta announced an overall production curtailment program, effectively imposing production caps for 2019. Suncor continues to work with the Government of Alberta and the Alberta Energy Regulator to manage and mitigate the unintended consequences of the curtailment orders on Suncor’s business. At this time there is no change in Suncor’s production guidance as previously issued on Dec. 14, 2018, which included Suncor’s estimate of the impact of this evolving curtailment program on its business.
Suncor’s fourth quarter results will be issued Feb. 5, 2019.