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Wary oil patch gears down

Published on August 10, 2012 by in Home
NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE
Globe and Mail

 

Is the oil boom slowing?

 

The spending spree in Canada’s fast-growing oil sands is slowing as some of the country’s largest energy companies trim capital budgets and question the fate of some of their most important projects.

Money continues to pour into the oil sands, where $1-billion is spent every two and a half weeks in the rush to add millions of barrels of capacity. But that spending has been under increased scrutiny.

The latest blow comes from Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., which said Thursday it has cut capital spending this year by $680-million or 10 per cent – much of that from its Horizon oil sands project. The company is attempting to hold the line on spending, while acknowledging that new projects will need oil prices of nearly $80 (U.S.) a barrel – not far from current levels – to turn a minimum acceptable profit. MORE

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