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(Reuters) - Canada's largest oil and gas producer Suncor Energy Inc's (SU.TO) third-quarter profit rose 5.7 percent, helped by higher production from its oil sands business and a rise in oil prices.
Suncor reported net income of C$1.29 billion, or 82 Canadian cents per share, up from C$1.22 billion, or 78 Canadian cents, in the third quarter of 2010.
Suncor is the dominant producer in the Canadian oil sands sector, with other operations in the United States, North Sea, Syria and Libya.
It benefited from strong oil prices in the quarter, as the West Texas Intermediate benchmark oil price rose 18 percent from the year before to $89.62 per barrel and European Brent prices rose 46 percent to $112.09.
Third-quarter oil sands production volumes rose 6.5 percent, averaging 326,600 barrels per day (bbls/d).
Suncor's cash flow, a key indicator of its ability to pay for new projects, rose to C$2.72 billion, or C$1.73 per share, from C$1.630 billion, or C$1.04 per share, a year ago.
Upstream production fell 14 percent to 546,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, as production volumes were hurt in part by maintenance issues at its Buzzard facility in the North Sea.
Reporting by Maneesha Tiwari in Bangalore; Editing by David Holmes