In its first-quarter earnings report, oil sands ogre Suncor Energy
Well, the situation's better than it appears on the surface. That total company production figure of 314,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day represents growth of 10% -- a rate already favorable to that reported by the likes of Occidental Petroleum
A slow start after a big December turnaround (period of planned maintenance), plus some unplanned maintenance, dragged down the first two weeks or so of the period. Since then, Suncor's oil sands operations have been spitting out closer to 300,000 barrels per day. After a series of hiccups last year, that's a strong start for 2009.
Some other welcome news is that Suncor's refining and marketing business had a very strong quarter, thanks to higher gasoline and asphalt margins. This contrasts markedly with the sharp downstream dropoff reported today by ConocoPhillips
If I have a bone to pick anywhere, it may be that cash costs came in higher than last year, with no more specific a culprit than "an increase in operational expenses." Folks like EnCana