UPDATE 1-Canada's Cenovus Energy to spend 13 pct less in 2014

Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:50am EST

Dec 12 (Reuters) - Cenovus Energy Inc , Canada's No. 2 independent oil producer, said it plans to reduce capital spending by 13 percent in 2014, but forecast a 10 percent rise in oil production.

The company expects to produce 190,000 to 208,000 barrels of oil per day in 2014, driven by output from two phases of its Foster Creek and Christina Lake oil sands projects in northern Alberta.

Cenovus will invest 15 percent more on Christina Lake and 42 percent more on its Narrows Lake project, also in Alberta. The company will cut its investment in Foster Creek by 12 percent. These projects are jointly owned with ConocoPhillips and operated by Cenovus.

Cenovus said in October that third-quarter production jumped 63 percent at Christina Lake, but fell 22 percent at Foster Creek.

Christina Lake and Foster Creek will account for about 50 percent of the company's 2014 projected capital budget of C$2.8 billion ($2.64 billion) to C$3.1 billion.

Cenovus said it will spend 40 percent less on its emerging oil sands assets over the next year.

The company expects to get regulatory approval for its Grand Rapidsoil sands project within the next few months, and approval for its Telephone Lake project in the second quarter of 2014.

Cenovus said it expects its conventional oil, natural gas and refining operations to keep generating strong operating cash flow to support the growth of its existing oil sands projects.

The narrowing price difference between crude oil and the petroleum products extracted from it had hit refining margins at the company and its rivals in the September quarter.

The company expects overall cash flow to be between $3.0 billion and $3.7 billion in 2014.

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