Suncor Energy expects 2019 upstream production to rise by 10 percent

(Reuters) - Suncor Energy Inc, Canada’s second-largest energy producer, said on Friday it expects average upstream production to rise 10 percent in 2019, even after implementing Alberta’s mandated output cuts.

Alberta has mandated temporary output cuts of 325,000 barrels per day (bpd) until excess crude in storage is drawn down. The Western Canadian province’s production cut, which will come into effect on Jan. 1, comes amid depressed prices for Canada’s heavy crude owing to pipeline bottlenecks.

The mandated cuts are controversial because heavily integrated producers such as Suncor and Husky Energy Inc benefit from the low crude prices to feed their refineries.

Suncor forecast average upstream production of 780,000 to 820,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), an increase from about 730,000 boe/d in 2018.

The company also expects capital expenditure to be in the range of C$4.9 billion to C$5.6 billion ($3.66 billion-$4.18 billion), largely flat compared to 2018.

Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel