Devon Oil Production Returns to Pre-Cutback Levels

Devon Energy Corp. has resumed the production of 10,000 barrels a day of crude oil that it was forced to cut last month because of space limits on pipelines operated by Enbridge Inc.

“Those short-term curtailments we experienced in the fourth quarter have been resolved,” Chip Minty, a Devon spokesman, said in a telephone interview.

Devon said Dec. 9 it had curtailed heavy-oil production and that the cutbacks would probably continue through the end of 2010. The reduction was expected to cut fourth-quarter oil volumes for Devon by about 300,000 barrels.

Some crude-oil shippers experienced disruptions while Enbridge created space in receiving tanks, Gina Jordan, a spokeswoman for Enbridge, said Dec. 8.

Enbridge said yesterday it plans to shut its 290,000- barrel-a-day Line 6B for two separate maintenance periods, starting about Feb. 7 and March 7 and lasting as much as five days each. The Calgary-based company will be replacing 14 line segments downstream of its Stockbridge, Michigan, station.

“It’s difficult for us to anticipate how those maintenance periods will impact our production,” said Devon’s Minty.

Enbridge is operating Line 6B in compliance with a corrective action order issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration after a 19,500-barrel oil spill in Michigan on July 26. The order requires that operating pressure not exceed 80 percent for the line.

Line 6B runs between Griffith, Indiana, and Sarnia, Ontario and carries primarily heavy crude.

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