Canadian Natural’s long-term marketing objective is to maximize the realized price for our overall portfolio in whatever market condition we are challenged with.
For crude oil in particular, our strategy consists of three main components: the blending of various crude oil streams and diluents to better serve the needs of our refining customers, the supportive participation in the expansion of pipeline export capacity and finally, the support and potential participation in projects adding incremental conversion capacity for bitumen and SCO.
Canadian Natural utilizes hedging techniques to provide some assurance on price realizations and to protect cash flow generation capability in order to fund ongoing development programs.
We view control of midstream assets as an important part of cost control. Canadian Natural's midstream asset portfolio is comprised of three crude oil pipeline systems and a 50% ownership in an 84 megawatt cogeneration plant at the Company's steam generation facilities at Primrose. Together, the 100% owned and operated ECHO Pipeline, 62% owned and operated Pelican Lake Pipeline and the 15% owned Cold Lake Pipeline transport in excess of 75% of our heavy oil production to the international mainline liquids pipelines.