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Canada on cusp of new oil era: Canadian Natural’s Laut

National Post - Aug 10, 2012

The multiple discounting of Canadian oils relative to world prices has cut into industry and government revenue and fuelled calls for market diversification in Asia, but the leader of Canada’s largest independent oil and gas producer says some of the pain is about to end as heavy oil enters an “outstanding era.”

Steve Laut, president of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., believes a set of unprecedented, favourable circumstances is about to unfold: higher demand for heavy oil in the United States with the addition of pipeline and refining capacity; low prices of natural gas used to fuel facilities; declining operating costs; and lower premiums for diluent used to move heavy oil as a result of the growth in liquids-rich gas drilling.

If his call is correct, it would lift an overhang over the sector caused by the lack of pipeline capacity to accommodate growing Canadian production, much of it heavy.

“We believe we are about to enter an outstanding era for heavy oil, and particularly for thermal or in-situ heavy oil,” Mr. Laut said in a conference call Thursday to discuss the company’s second-quarter results. Canadian Natural reported a profit of $753-million, down from $929-million last year.

Read Full Article from National Post

- Posted: 2012-08-10 15:04:38

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