DAILY NEWS Jan 9, 2014 5:17 AM - 0 comments

Suncor to spend $3.6 billion on planned maintenance and improving asset reliability in 2014

In 2014, about $3.6 billion is expected to go toward improving reliability across the company's assets and planned maintenance activities, while oil production expected to grow by 10%.

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Calgary - Suncor Energy’s 2014 corporate guidance includes $7.8 billion in capital spending and planned average production of 565,000 to 610,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Oil sands production is expected to increase by over 14%, more than offsetting the reduced production from the North America Onshore business as a result of the natural gas divestiture in 2013. Total oil production year over year is expected to increase by approximately 10%.

Approximately $4.2 billion of the 2014 capital spend is expected to go towards growth projects, with $1.9 billion of that growth capital earmarked for advancing oil sands projects, including the Fort Hills joint venture and near-term debottlenecking and expansion initiatives such as MacKay River 2.

Growth capital is also allocated to Exploration and Production projects including investment in Golden Eagle in the North Sea and development of East Coast Canada assets such as Hebron. Refining and Marketing growth capital of $220 million will largely be deployed on projects to support inland crude supply to the Montreal refinery.

"Our 2014 capital plan demonstrates our continued commitment to capital discipline," said Steve Williams, Suncor president and chief executive officer. "As evidenced by our debottlenecking initiatives and the recent Fort Hills project sanction, we will be diligent in pursuing only those projects we believe will deliver long-term shareholder value. This approach applies not only to how we view oil sands investments, but also to other opportunities in our rich suite of growth projects."

Reliability improvements

Approximately $3.6 billion of the 2014 capital spend is expected to go toward sustaining capital investments focused on improving reliability across the company's assets, maintaining current production capacities through planned maintenance activities and ensuring the safety and efficiency of existing operations.

2014 Production Outlook

"Our focus on operational excellence continues to deliver results," said Williams. "With no major turnarounds planned in our oil sands business in 2014 and further debottlenecking opportunities, we're set for a strong year of continued production growth. In addition, we expect to drive our oil sands cash operating costs below $35 per barrel as we continue to focus on reliability and cost management."

The Exploration and Production - International outlook assumes production from assets in the U.K. sector of the North Sea and full production from assets in Libya. Libyan production is contingent upon the resolution of the ongoing political unrest. Production from Syria is not included due to continued political unrest in that country.

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