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Canadian Natural to increase capital spending in 2013

A Canadian Natural Resources pump jack pumps oil out of the ground near Dorothy, Alberta, in this file photo.

© Todd Korol / Reuters/REUTERS

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. has set a 2013 capital budget of $6.9-billion – about $500-million more than the Calgary-based energy company's capital spending this year.

The biggest increase is at the CNQ's Horizon oil sands mining project, which will see its budget rise to $2.55-billion next year from $1.68-billion in 2012.

About $1.3-billion – roughly $200-million less than this year – will be spent on CNQ's Primrose, Future and Kirby in-situ oil sands projects, which use steam to soften the bitumen.

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Canadian Natural has cut about $100-million from its budget for property acquisitions, which drops to $85-million.

A total of $3.015-billion – $65-million less than last year – will be spent on other oil and gas operations.

That includes $1.9-billion budgeted for North American crude exploration and production, $605-million for international crude and $445-million for natural gas.

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