Husky Energy profit rises on higher refining margins

Wed Feb 6, 2013 9:31am EST
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(Reuters) - Husky Energy Inc (HSE.TO: Quote), Canada's No.3 oil producer and refiner, reported a 16 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit as cheaper crude oil fattened refining margins.

Husky, along with compatriots Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: Quote) and Imperial Oil Ltd (IMO.TO: Quote), has taken advantage of a wide gulf between the price of oil in the glutted North American interior and expensive imported crude.

That spread has been building as booming production in both Canada and the United States floods the market in the U.S. Midwest and Midcontinent regions, the major market for Canadian crude.

Realized refining margins for the quarter averaged $16.24 per barrel, compared with $14.80 a year earlier.

Husky, controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, in December forecast higher production for the current year, as it increased oil production and cut back on natural gas.

The company said it expected to produce 310,000 to 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in 2013.

Husky, a dominant producer of heavy crude in Western Canada, is also known for its Husky and Mohawk-branded gas stations.

Production at its 60,000 barrel per day Sunrise oil sands project, a joint venture with BP Plc (BP.L: Quote), in northern Alberta is expected to begin in 2014.

Field facilities for the first phase of the project are about three-quarters complete, the company said in a statement.   Continued...