Imperial Oil studies one-billion-barrel drop in bitumen reserves at finish of 2020

Imperial Oil Ltd. is chopping one billion barrels from its stock of oilsands bitumen following a yr marked by low oil costs and funds chopping amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a worldwide value conflict between main oil producers.

In a regulatory submitting on Wednesday, the Calgary-based firm says its proved plus possible bitumen reserves fell to 4.46 billion barrels as of Dec. 31, 2020, from 5.45 billion barrels on the final day of 2019, with a lot of the change because of “technical revisions.”

Its reserves of upgraded artificial crude from the oilsands fell to 583 million barrels from 623 million after it produced about 25 million barrels in 2020.

It says within the report pricing, alternate fee and inflation assumptions used to judge reserves are based mostly on the typical of values supplied by two third-party reserves evaluators, including these numbers will fluctuate and “are not relevant to the company’s investment decisions.”

The reserves report was filed the identical day that Imperial’s 69.6 per cent proprietor, U.S. large Exxon Mobil Corp., reported its worldwide proved developed and undeveloped oil and gasoline reserves fell from 22.4 billion oil equal barrels on the finish of 2019 to fifteen.2 billion as of the tip of 2020.

The majority of the revision was attributed to its bitumen stock, where reserves have been all however eradicated, dropping from 3.86 billion barrels to simply 81 million barrels.

Exxon defined in its submitting that the reserve cuts resulted from very low costs throughout 2020 and reductions to capital spending, including that it eliminated 3.1 billion barrels of proved Alberta bitumen reserves associated to the Kearl oilsands mine, in which it has a 29 per cent stake, and one other 600 million barrels from its Cold Lake, Alta., property.

“Among the factors that could result in portions of these amounts being recognized again as proved reserves at some point in the future are a recovery in the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) price basis, cost reductions, operating efficiencies and increases in planned capital spending,” it mentioned.

Benchmark U.S. oil costs have gained about 30 per cent since ending 2020 at US$48.52 per barrel.

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