Suncor overcomes Buzzard decline to increase production

Suncor Energy said production from the fields off Canada’s east coast helped the firm increase output in the first quarter of 2017.

Production volumes increased 7% year-on-year to 134,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day, largely due to the performance of new wells at Hibernia and the reworking of Terra Nova.

Suncor, headquartered in Calgary, said Hibernia and Terra Nova helped offset natural declines on the North Sea Buzzard field. Suncor owns 29.9% of Buzzard.

The company achieved first quarter operating earnings of $812million compared to a $500million deficit a year earlier.

Net earnings were $1.4billion, up from $257million.

Suncor attributed part of its success to “improved crude oil pricing combined with strong upstream production and lower companywide operating costs”.

Suncor also revealed plans to repurchase up to $2billion of the company’s shares over the next 12 months.

The firm’s strategy for 2017 is focused on bringing its major growth projects to first oil by the end of the year.

They include the Fort Hills oil sands project in Alberta, but also Hebron, an oil field located offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.

Suncor holds a 21% working interest in Hebron.

Suncor chief executive Steve Williams said: “Significant progress continues to be made on Hebron and Fort Hills, with both projects on track for first oil at the end of 2017.

“The Hebron platform will be towed out to the production site as planned in the second quarter when weather conditions are optimal. With peak Fort Hills construction activity now behind us, we will continue to progress the phased commissioning of the project throughout the year.”

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