* Says will spend C$460 million in 2014
* Expects average output of 6,000-6,500 boe/d in first
Dec 17 Canadian oil producer Athabasca Oil Corp
said it planned to spend 42 percent less in 2014 to
develop its assets, as it awaits government approval for its
The Dover project in Alberta was approved in April by the
province's energy regulator, but the Alberta Court of Appeal in
October allowed the Fort McKay First Nation, an aboriginal
community, to challenge the approval.
Athabasca holds 40 percent stake in the project, which could
eventually produce as much as 250,000 barrels per day of
bitumen. PetroChina Co Ltd holds the rest.
The Calgary-based energy company has the right to exercise a
C$1.32 billion ($1.25 billion) put option with PetroChina once
the Dover project gets all approvals.
The two companies had a similar agreement for the smaller,
nearby MacKay River project. Athabasca exercised its option to
sell its 40 percent interest in the project to the Chinese
state-owned company last year. ()
Athabasca had warned in October that it could cut its
budget, sell light oil assets or incur more debt if approval on
the Dover project was denied. ()
The company on Tuesday said it will spend C$460 million in
2014 - C$348 million for developing thermal oil assets and C$106
million for light oil assets. The remaining will be used for
"We will only undertake new project commitments when we have
the necessary funding to complete them," Chief Executive
Sveinung Svarte said in a statement.
Athabasca had said last year it would spend C$798 million to
develop its oil assets in Alberta in 2013, and finance capital
costs through cash-on-hand, debt and cash flow from production.
The company expects average production in the range of 6,000
to 6,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in the first
quarter of 2014. Production in the first quarter of 2013
averaged 6,100 boe/d.
Athabasca shares closed at C$6.57 on the Toronto Stock
Exchange on Monday. They have fallen about 37 percent this year.