Within 3 years, Imperial Oil says that production at the Kearl oilsands mine will be some 60,000 bpd higher than it was in 2017.

Citing “improvement activities” conducted last year as well as a new project that will run through 2018 and 2019, the goal for 2020 is 240,000 bpd.

“Substantial progress was made towards addressing reliability issues at Kearl. Following these improvements, Kearl is expected to produce an annual average of 200,000 barrels per day gross in 2018,” said Rich Kruger, chairman, president and chief executive officer.

The company reiterated its plan to spend $400 million to increase Kearl’s average gross production to 240,000 bpd by the end of 2019. It said its capital spending in 2018 is being set at between $1.5 billion and $1.7 billion, double the $671 million spent in 2017.

Its share of the project will be $400 million, indicating that the full cost will be approximately $563 million including ExxonMobil’s 29 percent ownership investment.

The company returned more than $1.1 billion to shareholders in 2017 with the resumption of share purchases and continued dividend growth.

img: http://cdn.imperialoil.ca/~/media/imperial/images/supporting-images/company/kearl-facility-at-dusk_supporting.jpg