More job cuts can be expected at Cenovus Energy next year.
In its 2018 budget released Thursday, the Calgary-based company says in an effort to reduce costs they will be eliminating their workforce by roughly 15 per cent. The energy giant expects to find savings in areas such as drilling performance, development planning and optimized scheduling of oilsands well start-ups.
“Our priorities for 2018 are to reduce costs and deleverage our balance sheet while maintaining capital discipline. The sooner we can achieve our long-term debt ratio goal, the sooner we can move to balance returning cash to shareholders with disciplined investments in high-return growth,” said Alex Pourbaix, Cenovus President & Chief Executive Officer.
Cenovus is planning to invest between $1.5 billion and $1.7 billion dollars in 2018 with the majority in its oilsands operations.
Approximately $270 million is being allocated for continued construction of the phase G expansion at Christina Lake, located roughly 150 km southwest of Fort McMurray.
Cenovus says the project is proceeding very well with capital costs for both the plant and wells coming in lower than expected. Phase G has an approved design capacity of 50,000 barrels per day with first oil anticipated in the second half of 2019 and ramp-up to full production expected over a period of up to 12 months.
Overall, Cenovus is forecasting average oilsands production of 373, 000 barrels per day in 2018, a 26 per cent increase compared with its forecast 2017 production.