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North Sea Oil Production Costs Continue To Fall

Production costs for Canadian Natural Resources in the North Sea came in around $42 per barrel—well below the current rate for a Brent barrel at $55.17—down by a third compared to overhead the year prior.

2016 per-barrel costs stood at $42.47, and by 2016 Q4, costs were down to $41.66, the Calgary-based company reported.

North Sea oil production by the company rose by six points over the course of 2016 amidst cost-cutting efforts, according to Energy Voice.

CNR, Canada’s largest independent petroleum producer, averaged a 23,554-barrel per day extraction rate in 2016.

Throughout 2016, Canadian Natural continued to execute on our defined strategy with another strong operational year,” President Steve Laut said. “2017 will be equally as transformational as Canadian Natural targets to deliver 6% production growth with a $3.36 billion capital programme.”

CNR also announced a 10 percent hike in dividends payable April 1st on Thursday after the company reported quarterly profits that surpassed expert expectations, according to The Financial Post.

Fourth quarter profits rose from US$98 million in 2015 to US$423 million last year, while revenue increased from US$2.21 billion to $2.74 billion over the same time period.

The increase in profits came from recovering oil prices, as well as decreased costs.

Related: As Non-OPEC Compliance Hits 60%, Oil Prices Remain Stagnant

The approval of two major oil pipelines in Canada last year led CNR and Cenovus Energy to announce plans to expand existing projects, adding 40,000 bpd and 50,000 bpd, respectively. The decisions are the first expansions since the downturn in oil prices two years ago, and indicate that Alberta is ready to pour money into projects. Alberta has suffered from a shortage of pipeline capacity that often requires them to sell their oil at a discount to WTI, which often runs as much as $15 per barrel.

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By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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