CNRL on schedule to restart Horizon bitumen upgrader in March

By OGJ editors

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. drilled a record number of wells and achieved record quarterly production totaling more than 657,000 boe/d during fourth-quarter 2011, and plans are on schedule for the Horizon bitumen upgrader to resume full operations by the end of March.

While discussing earnings Mar. 9, CNRL Chairman Allan Markin said, “We increased our barrel of oil equivalent reserves on a company gross proved plus probable basis by 9% to 7.54 billion bbl, replacing 390% of our 2011 production.”

CNRL Pres. Steve Laut said the Horizon upgrader outage “is significant for our oil sands mining area, on a company basis, the outage impacts full year production by less than 2%, highlighting the soundness of our strategy and the strength of our asset base.”

CNRL still expects full startup of Horizon by late March. Operations were suspended Feb. 5 for unplanned maintenance on the fractionating unit (OGJ Online, Feb. 15, 2012).

The Horizon upgrader can produce 110,000 b/d of synthetic crude oil. CNRL plans to increase output capacity in phases to 232,000-250,000 b/d (OGJ Online, May 2, 2011).

Last year, a Jan. 6 fire in the coker shut down the Horizon upgrader until Aug. 16 (OGJ Online, Jan. 7, 2011).

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