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Devon Spending Less, Delivering More from North American Operations

Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy Corp. said Tuesday it spent about 9% less on upstream projects than it had projected during the third quarter, while Lower 48 production exceeded guidance.

Net output in the Lower 48 between July and September was estimated at 418,000 boe/d, exceeding guidance, adjusted for asset sales, of 398,000-417,000 boe/d. Devon sold some Permian Basin assets during the quarter that were producing about 2,000 boe/d.

“A key driver of the third quarter production outperformance was higher natural gas liquids yields and recoveries, which benefit from access to premium pricing in the Mont Belvieu market,” the liquids hub near Houston, management said. U.S. oil production “was in line with the midpoint of guidance.”

Devon’s production gains of late have come almost entirely from the Permian and Anadarko basins, with 2Q2018 light oil production averaging 136,000 b/d, a 12% sequential increase and 2,000 b/d above the top end of guidance.

While exceeding output targets during the third quarter, Devon said it spent $523 million for upstream projects, which was $52 million (9%) below midpoint guidance.

Meanwhile, additional facilities work at the Jackfish 1 heavy oil project in Alberta is complete with full-scale operations restored, the company noted. Minor facility repairs were identified during recent turnaround startup activities, and Devon elected to perform the maintenance work instead of deferring repairs.

Third quarter output in Canada is expected to be around 104,000 boe/d net. The temporary curtailment of Jackfish volumes represents less than 1% of total expected company-wide production this year, Devon noted. Production at the Jackfish 2 and Jackfish 3 facilities was at nameplate capacity for the entire third quarter.

“With the Jackfish complex resuming full-scale operations, the company expects fourth quarter net production in Canada, after the impact of higher sliding-scale royalties, to increase to an average of 115,000-120,000 boe/d,” management said. “This operational momentum will carry into 2019, with Canadian net production estimated to exit the current year in excess of 120,000 boe/d.”

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