Connacher further cuts oil sands output

February-March will be 70% to 80% below Q4.

January 19, 2016   by CANADIAN PRESS

CALGARY — Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd. is responding to low commodity prices by slashing its Great Divide oil sands output, which will fall by 70% to 80% compared with fourth-quarter levels.

The Calgary-based company says output from Great Divide in February and March will be in a range of 3,000 to 4,000 barrels per day – down from 13.900 bpd in the fourth quarter.

Connacher previously said on Jan. 8 that output would be cut by about 3,000 bpd and revealed late Monday that January production will be 7,000 to 8,000 barrels per day, at least 6,900 bpd below fourth-quarter levels.

The company has accelerated planned maintenance at the operation, near Fort McMurray, Alta., but says both plants at Great Divide will remain operating for a majority of the time.

Crude oil prices have fallen to lows that haven’t been seen in about 13 years, continuing a downward trend that began in late 2014 because of an oversupply and slowing growth in demand.

West Texas Intermediate – a type of crude used as the North American benchmark for oil prices – has recently traded below US$30 a barrel for the first time since the spring of 2003. Oil sands crude usually trades at a discount to WTI.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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