Oil pricing continued to be volatile and continues today to be volatile, especially with respect to the discounts being charged in Canadian oil production in the first quarter, including synthetic crude oil. The discount climbed dramatically in the first quarter from the last quarter in 2011, as planned and unplanned maintenance issues caused a number of refinery shut-ins during the first quarter and into the early part of the second quarter. As expected, as these refineries are placed back online, the discount is tightening up again. Additional pipeline capacity, some of which is under construction and close to being completed, should also help to alleviate these discounts and the disconnect between Brent pricing and WTI pricing.We are at a very strong financial position, with our operation providing cash flow to carry out our capital programs; take advantage of any opportunistic acquisitions that may arise; pay dividends, an increase of 17% over last year; and buy back shares if appropriate. Our teams are strong, and we are looking forward to carrying out our objectives over the remainder of 2012.
Canadian Natural Resources Limited Management Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript
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