Athabasca Oil adopts lower 2021 budget, spends to maintain oilsands production

CALGARY — A Canadian oil company with production from both oilsands and light oil and gas wells is forecasting lower spending and little change in production in 2021.

Athabasca Oil Corp. says it plans to spend $75 million next year, versus $85 million in 2020, with $70 million of that focused on drilling wells to sustain production at its Leismer oilsands project, which employs steam to produce bitumen.

It says it plans to drill no new wells in its light oil division but added its minimal capital program is flexible depending upon changes in commodity prices.

Athabasca expects 2021 production of between 31,000 and 33,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (10 per cent natural gas), similar to its 2020 average output of about 32,250 boe/d.  

Last month, the company reported a third-quarter net loss of $18.8 million, versus a loss of $8.3 million in the year-earlier period, on lower bitumen production and oil prices.

It reported bitumen output of 20,200 barrels per day, down from 25,200 in the same period of 2019, due to a maintenance shutdown at its Hangingstone thermal oilsands project, while light oil and gas output grew to 11,830 boe/d from 10,000 boe/d.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ATH)

The Canadian Press

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