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An Aerial Of Cenovus's Foster Creek Operation In Northern Alberta (Photo: Business Wire)

Combined output from Foster Creek and Christina Lake reached more than 95,000 bbls/d net to Cenovus in the third quarter, a 44% increase from the same period last year. Production at Christina Lake averaged more than 32,000 bbls/d net, a more than threefold increase from the third quarter of 2011, driven by strong performance from phase C and the ramp-up of production at phase D. Full capacity was reached at phase C in the first quarter, while phase D saw first oil production in late July, approximately three months ahead of schedule. During the quarter, Christina Lake also achieved a single-day production high of more than 87,000 bbls/d gross. Once phase D is fully ramped up, production capacity at Christina Lake is expected to reach 98,000 bbls/d gross. With the addition of another four planned phases, Cenovus believes Christina Lake has the potential to produce 288,000 bbls/d gross, increasing to as much as 300,000 bbls/d with optimization.

Production at Foster Creek grew 12%, compared with the third quarter of 2011, to more than 63,000 bbls/d net, mainly due to improved well performance and plant optimization. Throughout the quarter, production at Foster Creek consistently exceeded the project’s original design capacity by approximately 5%, averaging more than 126,000 bbls/d gross. There are five phases currently producing at Foster Creek, with three more under construction. A public consultation process is under way for an additional expansion phase. Ultimately, Cenovus expects Foster Creek will have the capacity to produce 295,000 bbls/d gross and as much as 310,000 bbls/d with optimization.

“We have a great resource base that includes some of the best in-situ oil sands reservoirs in the industry,” said John Brannan, Cenovus Executive Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer. “Our teams have done a great job starting up new production in these reservoirs safely, on schedule and within budget. Thanks to the strong performance of both our oil sands and conventional businesses, our oil growth is ahead of plan.”

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