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Imperial Oil CEO Rich Kruger. Image courtesy of Imperial Oil.

Imperial Oil said Wednesday it has boosted its heavy crude supply by about 120,000 barrels per day thanks to an expansion at the Kearl oil sands mine and the start up of its Nabiye project.

According to Reuters, the Calgary-based company’s Kearl oil sands mine project is now producing 200,000 bpd after the start-up of its Phase 2 expansion project raised capacity by 90,000 bpd.

Kearl is expected to reach a peak capacity of 220,000 bpd and has an estimated 4.6 billion barrels of recoverable bitumen resource and an expected life span of 40 years.

The project is located about 43 miles north of Fort McMurray, Alberta and is jointly owned by Imperial, with a 71 percent stake, and ExxonMobil Canada with a 29 percent stake.

Imperial’s Nabiye thermal project is now producing 30,000 bpd after starting up earlier this year and is expected to produce about 40,000 bpd by the end of the year.

Nabiye is located at Imperial’s Cold Lake site in Alberta, North America’s largest in-situ operation, where production has averaged about 150,000 barrels of bitumen per day in recent years.
Imperial CEO Rich Kruger told investors on Wednesday that falling supplier costs have allowed Imperial to shrink the amount of capital reinvestment required to sustain its business to about $1.2 billion a year, down from $2 billion last year, Bloomberg said.
The company is also targeting lower operating costs at Kearl that would push cash operating costs down to less than $30 per barrel, Bloomberg added.
 “We’re not going to bet the farm on oil price growth,” Kruger told investors.