UPDATE 1-Imperial Oil profit jumps 19 pct as output, prices rise

Thu May 1, 2014 8:47am EDT
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* Production grows 16 pct

* Kearl oil sands mine output up 35 pct sequentially

* Synthetic crude average realizations up 11 pct (Adds details, background)

May 1 (Reuters) - Imperial Oil Ltd, Canada's No.2 integrated oil company, reported a 19 percent jump in quarterly profit as production grew and prices rose.

The company, 69.6 percent owned by Exxon Mobil Corp, said net income rose to C$946 million ($862.00 million), or C$1.11 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31 from C$798 million, or 94 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Production averaged 330,000 gross oil-equivalent barrels per day, up from 284,000 barrels a year ago.

Imperial's average realizations from the sales of synthetic crude oil increased 11 percent due to a rise in West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil benchmark price, which rose about 5 percent, and the impact of a weaker Canadian dollar.

The company's average bitumen realizations were C$65.19 per barrel compared with $43.63 per barrel a year ealier as the price spread between light crude oil and bitumen narrowed.

Average realizations on natural gas sales nearly doubled to C$6.56 per thousand cubic feet.   Continued...