Suncor released its 2022 corporate guidance which supports the previous announcements of doubling the dividend, increasing share buybacks and lowering the capital program by $300 million. The 2022 guidance reflects strong operational performance across all assets and continued capital and cost discipline. Highlights include:
• Upstream production of 750,000 to 790,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), approximately 5% higher than the expected 2021 levels, supported by the Fort Hills ramp-up to full rates and partially offset by the sale of Golden Eagle;
• Record Synthetic Crude Oil (SCO) production capturing the additional upgraded crude value, approximately 5% higher than 2021 expected levels;
• Refinery throughput in-line with 2019 levels and highest anticipated sales in the company’s history from our industry leading downstream business, positioned to capture strong and improving consumer demand, and;
• Capital program of $4.7 billion, 6% or $300 million below the previously announced $5 billion planned capital program ceiling.
“Our strong execution in 2021 and confidence in our plan enabled us to double the dividend, increase the buyback program to 7% of the public float, and reduce net debt at the highest annual pace ever,” said Mark Little, president and chief executive officer. “We enter 2022 with strong momentum and remain steadfast in our focus on operational excellence, capital and cost discipline, increasing shareholder returns and delivering a more resilient future for Suncor.”
Production & Operating Cost Guidance
Suncor’s expected upstream production of 750,000 to 790,000 boe/d represents an approximately 5% year-over-year increase from expected 2021 levels supported by the Fort Hills ramp-up to full rates, partially offset by the sale of Golden Eagle.
Suncor’s Oil Sands operations production of 395,000 to 435,000 barrels per day (bbls/d) and cash operating costs(1) per barrel of $25.00 - $28.00 reflects a larger proportion of production being higher margin SCO as well as planned maintenance at Firebag – its first major turnaround in 10 years.
Fort Hills production of 85,000 to 100,000 bbls/d, net to Suncor, represents a two-train operation for the year and expected utilization of 90%.
This production increase and focus on costs is expected to result in an approximately 40% reduction of Fort Hills cash operating costs(1) per barrel to $23.00 - $27.00 compared to the midpoint of 2021 guidance. Fort Hills will ramp up imminently in late December 2021 to a stable two train operation.
Under the first year of Suncor operatorship, Syncrude’s production guidance of 175,000 to 190,000 bbls/d is approximately 5% higher than 2021 expected production and cash operating costs(1) per barrel are expected to reduce by 3%, to $31.00 - $34.00 per barrel when compared to midpoint of 2021 guidance, as a result of previously announced synergies.
The downstream business is expected to deliver throughput on par with 2019 levels as consumer demand in 2022 is expected to continue to increase from current levels as demand recovers.
Suncor’s 2022 capital program is $300 million below the planned corporate capital ceiling enabled by efficiencies across the business. This capital program is largely focused on sustaining capital ($3.2 – $3.4 billion) which addresses planned maintenance and tailings optimizations.
The remaining 2022 capital program is allocated towards – the $2.1 billion free funds flow growth initiatives, including the Base Plant Cogeneration and Forty Mile power project, Terra Nova Asset Life Extension and In Situ well pads.
Suncor’s corporate guidance provides management’s outlook for 2022 in certain key areas of the company’s business. Users of this forward-looking information are cautioned that actual results may vary materially from the targets disclosed. Readers are cautioned against placing undue reliance on this guidance.