Oilsands capital spending is forecasted to reach $16 billion in 2011, representing an 18.5% increase over the almost $13.5 billion spent in 2010. The estimate includes a projected 30% spending increase by Suncor Energy up to $4.18 billion this year, as well as projected capital expenditures of $2.5 billion for Canadian Natural Resources and up to $1 billion for Cenovus Energy. Also included is the $332 million budgeted by Canadian Oilsands Trust to replace four of the five mining trains at Syncrude, which are expected to remain in operation for another 10‐20 years.
Talisman anticipates spending $450 million to $500 million in Western Canada in 2011 with the majority of spending evidencing a shift from dry natural gas into liquids‐rich gas and oil. Talisman intends to drill 35 net wells at its Farrell Creek Montney plan, and double the drilling rigs from four to eight. Talisman’s Farrell Creek activity is likely to be driven in part by its strategic partnership with South Africa’s Sasol. Under the deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2011, Sasol will carry 75% of Talisman’s future capital commitments in the area, and bring Sasol’s gas‐to‐liquids expertise to Western Canada.