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Cenovus Energy expects higher capital spend, output in 2022

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(Reuters) -Cenovus Energy Inc on Wednesday forecast slightly higher capital expenditure and production next year, as the Canadian company bets on a sustained recovery in energy prices with crude climbing over $70 a barrel.

Canada's oil sands are inching toward record production, as the country's biggest producers squeeze more barrels out of existing assets, but they are still holding back on large spends despite oil prices at their highest in recent years. (

The Calgary, Alberta-based firm forecast 2022 spending between C$2.6 billion ($2.06 billion) and C$3 billion, higher than C$2.3 billion to C$2.7 billion expected in 2021.

Cenovus also reaffirmed its commitment to grow investor returns, with planned allocation of about 50% of excess free fund flows in 2022 to shareholders, including a repurchase of up to 146.5 million common shares.

The company said last month it intends to buy back up to 10% of its public float and double its dividend. (

Cenovus, which agreed to buy rival Husky last year to create Canada's No. 3 oil and gas producer expects production of 780,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) to 820,000 boepd next year, a 4% increase compared with the 2021 outlook.

While throughput or the amount of crude processed forecast for full-year 2022 is expected between 530,000 barrels per day (bpd) and 580,000 bpd, 6% higher than 2021 expectations.

Cenovus, part of the Canadian oil sands producers alliance formed in June to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their operations by 2050, plans for a 35% reduction in absolute GHG by the end of 2035.

($1 = 1.2635 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Vinay Dwivedi)

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