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A Suncor Energy facility in Sherwood Park, Alta.

CANDACE ELLIOTT/Reuters

Canadian oil and gas producer Suncor Energy Inc on Monday forecast a 5-per-cent rise in oil production for 2020, and said there continues to be considerable uncertainty related to the impact and duration of Alberta’s production curtailment.

Production is expected to be between 800,000 to 840,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), a 5-per-cent increase over the midpoint of its 2019 forecast, the company said.

Suncor and a number of other Canadian producers have asked the government to allow them to produce above their current curtailment limit as long as incremental production moves to market by rail.

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The mandatory cuts sharply reduced a price discount on Canadian versus U.S. oil, boosting revenue for many producers but affecting profits for integrated companies such as Suncor, which benefited from low-cost oil to run through its refineries.

The company also said it expects capital spending between $5.4 billion and $6.0 billion, adding that the capital increase in 2020 is predominantly associated with projects driving the $2 billion of incremental free funds flow target by 2023.

“Fort Hills and Syncrude remain adversely impacted due to the continued, disproportionate effect of curtailment as it is applied on a 2018 production basis when neither asset was operating at nameplate capacity,” the company added.

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