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From The Globe and Mail

Canada’s biggest oil sands producers, which have stubbornly resisted halting output even as the price of their crude hits record lows, are planning a higher-than-normal maintenance schedule this year. The move is seen temporarily curbing supply in the second and third quarters, which should lift crude prices in the region and give producers a respite from selling their barrels below cash costs.

Among producers planning major work at their facilities, Suncor Energy Inc. is planning the first five-yearly turnaround on its U2 upgrader, Cenovus Energy Inc. has three turnarounds planned versus none last year and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. has scheduled 30-35 days of maintenance deferred from 2015.

Not all producers disclose the impact on output, making year-on-year comparisons difficult, but Suncor, Cenovus and Canadian Natural’s turnarounds alone will shut off about 22,000 barrels per day of heavy and synthetic crude on an annual basis below what they would otherwise produce.

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