The oilsands producer, which is projecting 2019 output equivalent to as much as 1.12 million barrels of crude a day, is the first major Canadian energy company to announce its spending plans for next year. With Western Canada’s pipelines overflowing, its crude selling at deep discounts and the province of Alberta mandating industry-wide production cuts, the company’s reduced spending may be a harbinger of similar announcements from its peers.
Canadian Natural said it has the flexibility to invest as much as $700 million more next year if prices and market access improve. That capital would be focused on increasing production in 2020 and beyond, rather than immediately.
The company is targeting crude and natural gas liquid production of 782,000 to 861,000 barrels per day next year, in line with this year’s levels. Natural gas output will be 1.49 billion to 1.55 billion cubic feet a day, a 2 per cent drop from this year.