(Adds details on capex, CEO quote)
Dec 1 (Reuters) - Canadian oil sands producer MEG Energy Corp said on Friday it expects higher production in 2018, compared to its 2017 forecast.
The company expects to produce 85,000 to 88,000 barrels per day (bpd) next year, compared to its 2017 forecast of 80,000 to 82,000 bpd.
MEG Energy expects capital expenses of C$510 million ($396.02 million) next year, the majority of which will be used to drill new oil wells.
The company said it plans to spend C$120 million next year on thermal technology at its Christina Lake oil sands project in northern Alberta, which involves adding gas to steam injected underground to liquefy and extract tarry oil sands bitumen.
"Our strong cash balance and a portion of our expected 2018 funds flow from operations will fully fund the 2018 capital program," said Chief Executive Bill McCaffrey.
Oil sands rivals Canadian Natural Resources Ltd and Suncor Energy Inc forecast lower 2018 capital spending, while significantly boosting production estimates. ($1 = C$1.29) (Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)