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Cenovus Energy Inc. is producing oil from phase D at its Christina Lake oil sands operation in Canada approximately three months ahead of schedule and within budget, the company reported.
The company began injecting steam in the 2Q this year and began producing in late July. Production at Christina Lake in August averaged more than 61,000 b/d gross, an increase of nearly 4,000 b/d when compared to production in the 2Q. Christina Lake is operated by Cenovus and jointly owned with ConocoPhillips.
Phase D is planned to produce approximately 40,000 b/d. Cenovus expects the production ramp-up to be complete in six to nine months, similar to the ramp-up of phase C and considerably faster than the industry average. The efficient ramp-ups achieved at Christina Lake are due to the high quality of the reservoir and the use of accelerated start-up techniques, according to a news release. Commissioning of the phase D facilities is almost complete and will bring total production capacity at Christina Lake to 98,000 b/d. With additional expansions and optimization, Cenovus anticipates Christina Lake will have a total production capacity of about 300,000 b/d.
Construction continues on phase E, the next expansion at Christina Lake, and is currently ahead of schedule. The phase is about 55% complete, with initial production anticipated for 4Q 2013. Site preparation, engineering, and major equipment fabrication is underway for Christina Lake phase F with first production expected in 2016.
The company plans to provide an update to full-year production forecasts with its third quarter results in October.