FACTBOX-Breaking down the costs of Canada's oil sands projects

Oct 18 (Reuters) - In Canada's oil sands, the bigger a project, the lower its operating costs tend to be, making it easier for large oil sands producers like Cenovus Energy to turn a profit when oil is stuck around $50 a barrel. Here is a breakdown of costs for two smaller Athabasca projects and the larger Cenovus Energy project.

Project Athabasca Oil Athabasca's Leismer Cenovus Energy's Corp's Christina Lake


Capacity 9,000 bpd 22,000 bpd 154,000 bpd Bitumen selling price C$31.64 C$31.90 C$36.54


Royalties /bbl C$0.56 C$0.68 C$0.85 Non-energy operating C$13.16 C$8.47 C$4.66

costs /bbl

Energy operating costs C$7.34 C$4.24 C$2.38

(natural gas to make steam) /bbl

Transportation and C$12.78 C$2.91 C$4.10

marketing (Cenovus details transportation and blending instead) /bbl

Operating netback /bbl* -C$2.20 C$15.60 C$24.55

* Operating netback represents sales minus royalties, production and transportation expenses. It excludes some other costs, such as general and administrative expenses or the cost of ultra-light hydrocarbons added to bitumen so it can flow through pipelines.

(Reporting by Nia Williams; Editing by David Gaffen and Tomasz Janowski)