CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Imperial Oil profit falls on lower crude prices

Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:19am EDT
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(Removes reference to Kearl project being equally owned with Exxon in fifth paragraph. Kearl is 79 percent owned by Imperial Oil.)

* First-qtr EPS $0.94 vs C$1.19 year earlier

* Total revenue and other income rises 6 percent

* Says start-up of first phase of Kearl oil sands project imminent

April 25 (Reuters) - Imperial Oil Ltd, Canada's No. 2 oil producer and refiner, reported a 21 percent fall in first-quarter profit due to lower crude prices and increased refinery maintenance.

The company said the start-up of the first phase of its Kearl oil sands project in northern Alberta is imminent and the sales of Kearl blend are expected to begin in the third quarter.

Imperial, 69.6 percent owned by Exxon Mobil Corp, has been struggling to overcome start-up problems at its 110,000 barrel per day Kearl project.

The C$12.9 billion project was originally expected to begin producing by the end of 2012, but has yet to produce any bitumen.

The 79 pecent-owned Kearl project will use production technology that allows the oil sands' tar-like bitumen to flow to market without the need for upgrade.   Continued...