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Canada's cost cutters

In the race to lower costs, Alberta's in situ oil sands producers are beating the miners

Since the crude price collapse in late 2014, Canadian oil sands producers have managed to slash bitumen production costs, both at open-pit mining and thermal in situ operations. Some of these reductions are cyclical, reflecting falling costs across the industry. The weaker Canadian dollar has helped as well, driving down domestic costs in US dollar terms. However, while these cyclical reductions have been seen across the board, some operators have been able to achieve clear, structural cost advantages in the low-price environment. In situ projects in particular have shown more effective energy usage and efficiency gains in reservoir engineering, giving them a leg up in Alberta's heavy oil pa

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