Canadian Manufacturing

Oil patch pain continues as Connacher cuts output

The company has accelerated planned maintenance at its Great Divide operation near Fort McMurray, Alta.



CALGARY—Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd. is responding to low commodity prices by slashing its Great Divide oilsands output, which will fall by 70 to 80 per cent compared with fourth-quarter levels.

The Calgary-based company says output from Great Divide in February and March will be in a range of 3,000 to 4,000 barrels per day (bpd), down from 13.900 bpd in the fourth quarter.

Connacher previously said on Jan. 8 that output would be cut by about 3,000 bpd and revealed late Jan. 18 that January production will be 7,000 to 8,000 barrels per day, at least 6,900 bpd below fourth-quarter levels.

The company has accelerated planned maintenance at the operation, near Fort McMurray, Alta., but says both plants at Great Divide will remain operating for a majority of the time.

Crude oil prices have fallen to lows that haven’t been seen in about 13 years, continuing a downward trend that began in late 2014 because of an oversupply and slowing growth in demand.

West Texas Intermediate—a type of crude used as the North American benchmark for oil prices—has recently traded below US$30 a barrel for the first time since the spring of 2003. Oilsands crude usually trades at a discount to WTI.

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