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Canada's Oil Sands: highlights from Q4 2015 results

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10 March 2016

Canada's Oil Sands: highlights from Q4 2015 results

Report summary

The oil sands industry showcased its resiliency in Q4 2015, but the biggest challenge to date will be Q1 2016. Oil sands operators continue to cut operating costs while getting a helping hand from depressed natural gas prices. Producers posted positive operating margins in Q4 2015 and as long as companies are making an operating profit the possibility of shutting in is doubtful. The first quarter of 2016 will further test producers resolve as many will likely post negative operating margins. In Q4 earnings a trend emerged as several oil sands producers announced that they would be increasing oil sands production output through de-bottlenecking and optimisation efforts. Rather than shutting in, producers have instead focused on bringing costs on a per barrel basis down by increasing production and focusing on optimisation and debottlenecking initiatives.

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • Benchmark oil prices and bitumen realisations
  • Oil sands operating netbacks
  • Oil sands producers focus on project optimisation
  • Mining production flat as Kearl approaches design capacity
  • In Situ production reaches record levels
    • Production increases
    • Production decreases
  • Planned turnarounds for 2016
    • Oil sands royalty framework maintained
    • Landmark Quest Carbon Capture and Storage facility comes online
    • Suncor and Canadian Oil Sands deal comes to a close

Tables and charts

This report includes 9 images and tables including:

  • Benchmark prices vs. bitumen realisations
  • Bitumen discount relative to benchmark prices
  • Realised prices in Cdn$/bbl
  • Cenovus Foster Creek Q4 2015 netback - actual
  • Foster Creek netback estimate - US$30/bbl WTI
  • Mining Production
  • In situ projects producing >35,000 b/d
  • In Situ Projects producing <35,000 b/d
  • In situ oil sands projects increasing production output or capacity in 2016

What's included

This report contains:

  • Document

    Canada's Oil Sands: highlights from Q4 2015 results

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