Cenovus Hits Milestone: One Billion Bbls Of Cumulative Oilsands Production

Cenovus's Christina Lake operations. Image: Cenovus

Cenovus Energy Inc. says that on July 10, 2019, it reached one billion bbls of cumulative production from its Foster Creek and Christina Lake oilsands facilities in northern Alberta.

Cenovus said it is the first company to produce one billion bbls of oil using steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technology.

Foster Creek began producing oil as a pilot under a predecessor company in 1997 and in 2001 became the first commercial oil sands project to use SAGD, while Christina Lake began producing oil in 2002.

“This incredible achievement for Cenovus represents over 20 years of hard work, perseverance and innovation by our staff members, both past and present,” said Alex Pourbaix, Cenovus presidentand chief executive officer. “Thanks to their efforts, we can proudly say today that we are an industry leader, that our oilsands projects have made a significant contribution to the Canadian economy, and that Cenovus’s oil is among the most responsibly produced oil on the planet.”

Since construction on the facilities began, Foster Creek and Christina Lake have created thousands of jobs and contributed over $25 billion in capital spending to the Canadian economy, the company said.

Since Cenovus launched as an independent company nearly a decade ago, its oilsands operations have generated about $3.2 billion in royalty payments for the Government of Alberta. Over the last five years, the company achieved a 70 per cent reduction in sustaining capital costs and a 45 per cent reduction in operating costs. And since 2004, Cenovus has reduced its per-bbl greenhouse gas emissions by about one-third. Today, the carbon emissions from the production of a bbl of Cenovus’s oil are below the average bbl produced globally and are among the lowest in the oilsands industry.

 “One of the things that’s been very important to me from day one is to develop these resources responsibly, finding the right balance between generating economic value, protecting the environment and contributing to social well-being,” said Harbir Chhina, Cenovus executive vice-president and chief technology officer. “That’s always been a core part of our business philosophy, and over the coming years, we’ll remain focused on driving more efficiency in our business, strengthening our local communities and continuing our demonstrated track record of reducing our emissions intensity.”

Along with its operational success, Cenovus has also developed a strong reputation for investing in communities. Since December 2009, the company has done more than $2.7 billion in business with local Indigenous-owned companies. During that period, Cenovus has also donated over $112 million to local community organizations across its operating areas.

To commemorate its billion-bbl milestone, Cenovus is making donations to select communities that have contributed to the success of its Foster Creek and Christina Lake operations.