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CALGARY — ConocoPhillips says it plans to cut production at its Surmont oilsands operation in northern Alberta due to low oil prices until market conditions improve.

The Houston-based company said in a release that it expects to reduce production at Surmont by approximately 100,000 barrels of oil per day to 35,000 by May.

It said given ongoing uncertainty and continued market volatility, the company’s previous 2020 guidance items should not be relied upon.

“These actions reflect our view that near-term oil prices will remain weak, largely due to demand impacts from COVID-19 and continued oil oversupply,” Ryan Lance, chairman and chief executive officer, said.

“We are well-positioned with flexibility to take actions that we believe maintain our relative competitive advantages, as well as our ability to resume programs depending on the timing and path of a recovery.”

Lance said there would also be production cuts at other ConocoPhillips facilities in the United States. The total curtailment would amount to 225,000 gross barrels of oil per day.

The ConocoPhillips website says Surmont is a SAGD bitumen recovery facility that it operates under a joint venture agreement with Total E&P Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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