Suncor saw a slower fourth quarter in 2018 than the year previously thanks to price differentials and other factors, but overall experienced a solid 2018, according to the company's Q4 earnings statement.
Suncor Energy Inc.
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Suncor has provided an operations update for the fourth quarter of 2018, highlighting total upstream production of 831,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), which is a quarterly production record and represents an increase of 12% from the third quarter of 2018. This record-breaking quarter reflects the results of the significant investment developing Fort Hills, and Suncor's ongoing operational excellence focus across its assets, particularly at the Syncrude joint venture.
Suncor released its 2019 corporate guidance which includes a capital program of between $4.9 and $5.6 billion and average upstream production of 780,000 to 820,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d). The midpoints of these ranges represent a flat capital spend compared to 2018 and a year over year production increase of approximately 10%, including estimated mandatory production curtailments, from approximately 730,000 boe/d in 2018.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has announced a temporary slowdown in oil production in the province to try and combat low prices for Albertan oil driven by a lack of shipping capacity to U.S. refiners. That gap is costing the country more than $80 million daily, according to the Alberta government, which blames the troubles largely on the federal government's inability to move pipeline construction forward.
Suncor announced that Steve Williams will retire as chief executive officer at the company's Annual General Meeting on May 2, 2019. Mark Little, chief operating officer is appointed president effective immediately and will assume the role of chief executive officer upon Williams' retirement next May.
Suncor announced that Jacynthe Côté will be stepping down from Suncor's Board of Directors effective immediately.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Energy Minister Margaret McCuaig-Boyd joined Suncor officials, local contractors, First Nations leaders and other delegates to celebrate the grand opening of Fort Hills, a project which put 7,900 people to work at the peak of construction and is employing 1,400 people full time now that the facility is operational.
The second quarter of 2018 proved solid for Suncor, which saw earnings of $1.2 billion despite a large amount of maintenance at the company's facilities.