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From the Globe and Mail

Cenovus Energy Inc. is intensifying efforts to export crude to global markets as the oil sands producer seeks higher margins for severely depressed barrels.

Cenovus has shipped a cargo of crude oil from its flagship Christina Lake bitumen project in northeastern Alberta to Europe, adding to a steady trickle of Canadian oil that has flowed to international buyers despite opposition to major export pipelines.

A spokesman for the company confirmed the delivery but declined to provide details, citing confidentiality reasons. However, tanker-tracking firm ClipperData said a shipment of about 520,000 barrels of crude was loaded at Freeport, Tex., and arrived at Repsol SA’s Cartagena refinery in southeast Spain on Dec. 17.

It marks the second time the Calgary-based company has exported crude to Europe from the Gulf Coast, following an earlier shipment in the fourth quarter, spokesman Reg Curren said in an e-mail.

“We’ve been working to take greater control over a larger part of our value chain, which we believe will result in improved margins and higher returns for our shareholders,” he said.

“By getting our oil to ports, we believe it will lead to more competition for our product and give us access to international prices, which are generally higher.”

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