Light Crude Oil & NGLs

North America

Canadian Natural produces light crude oil and NGLs in all of its western Canadian core regions. The majority of Canadian Natural’s light crude oil pools are produced under water flood which provide relatively high ultimate recovery factors with low production decline rates. While light crude oil recoveries are modest, the availability and development of new technology leads to improving recovery factors, adding significant leverage to Canadian Natural. All of these projects are low risk but do require rigorous geological and engineering analysis in order to be successful.

Our extensive undeveloped land base continues to deliver new pool discoveries through detailed geophysical and geological analysis. Our light crude oil pools have recovered approximately 30% of the original oil in place, leaving a significant resource target. We are currently testing various enhanced oil recovery processes that include water flooding, CO2 flooding, polymer flooding and alkaline surfactant polymer flooding. Enhanced Oil Recovery has made significant progress, resulting in value-adding commercial projects.

Canadian Natural has extensive land base with large, premium drill to fill inventory of defined development projects that leverages existing owned and operated infrastructure. The Company has a large light crude oil and NGL land base across the high value liquids rich Montney.


Canadian Natural’s International operations provide a committed source of light crude oil production. The Company leverages its experience in mature, low risk, development basins in North America to those found offshore. International efforts are concentrated in two core areas – the UK portion of the North Sea, and Offshore Africa, specifically Côte d’Ivoire.

In the United Kingdom’s (“UK”) portion of the North Sea, our focus is on managing our infrastructure, platform maintenance and mature basin development. This approach ultimately prolongs the life and economic value of our assets. Our resource potential is significant, making the North Sea a low risk source of high value, light crude oil. We remain focused on optimizing operations to lower operating costs and target to maximize the value of our development projects and infill drilling opportunities. We operate the vast majority of our fields in the North Sea with a high average working interest, giving us control of our assets.

Long-term, our objective for the UK North Sea is to maintain production and proactively manage our abandonment liabilities of this mature asset. Mature field declines will be offset with development projects and infill drilling, provided conditions warrant economic investment.

The Offshore Africa assets deliver high value, light crude oil, providing development opportunities with significant exploration upside with some of the highest returning projects in the Company’s portfolio. Canadian Natural has capitalized on a unique government relations niche, while leveraging technical and operational expertise from the North Sea operations. 

In Côte d’Ivoire, the Espoir development is produced from two reservoirs – East and West Espoir – located approximately 60 kilometers southwest of Abidjan, capital of Côte d’Ivoire. The light crude oil is processed, stored and offloaded via a floating production storage and offtake (FPSO) vessel. 

Also in Côte d’Ivoire, the Baobab field is located south of Espoir in deep water Block CI-40. Baobab is located approximately 8 kilometers south of Espoir in deep water. As with Espoir, Baobab uses a FPSO to process, store and export light crude oil. 

In South Africa, Canadian Natural has a 20% interest in Block 11B/12B, approximately 175 kilometers off the southern coast of South Africa and covers an area of approximately 19,000 square kilometers with water depths ranging from 200 – 1,800 meters. As this is deep water with challenging sea conditions, Canadian Natural secured a world class partner for the deep water exploration and has maintained a 20% working interest and financial carry as well as bonus payments on commercial discovery.  The operator drilled the first exploratory well on the block in late 2014, achieving sufficient depth to retain the exploration right.  The operator re-entered the well in late 2018 and subsequent to completion of drilling and analysis of the results, the operator announced that the well encountered 57m of net gas condensate in the Lower Cretaceous reservoir. Following the discovery, further 3D seismic is targeted and along with additional drilling to delineate additional structures on the Block.