(By Balachander) Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE: SU) said its Firebag oil sands project in Canada has reached full design capacity of nearly 120,000 barrels per day (bbls/day).
The Calgary-based energy company said third-quarter production at the Firebag facility averaged 113,000 bbls/day, with exit rates of roughly 120,000 bbls/day.
Production for the three-month period was up over 100 percent from around 55,000 bbls/day in the year-ago period, the company said.
The company added that start-up at the Firebag stage four facility is ahead of schedule, and the project is roughly 10 percent under the current budget estimate of $2 billion. Suncor expects first oil by the end of the year, roughly three months ahead of the original schedule.
Suncor also expects total production from the Firebag complex to rise to about 180,000 bbls/day once stage four reaches full planned capacity.
"The Firebag resource continues to provide from among the most productive wells in the industry from one of the largest resource basins in the world," said Suncor CEO Steve Williams. "Firebag is a high-quality asset and a crucial component of our oil sands portfolio."
The company's operations include oil sands development and upgrading, conventional and offshore oil and gas production, petroleum refining, and product marketing under the Petro-Canada brand.
The stock, which has been trading in a 52-week range of $25.95 to $37.37, shed 2.41 percent to trade at $32.75 on Tuesday on the NYSE. On the Toronto Stock Exchange, shares fell 2.61 percent.