UPDATE 1-Imperial Oil's profit misses as crude prices plunge

Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:51am EDT
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July 31 (Reuters) - Imperial Oil Ltd , Canada's No.2 integrated oil producer and refiner, reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by the slump in crude prices.

Global oil prices have nearly halved in the past year, hurting oil and gas companies and forcing them to cut expenditure and jobs.

Imperial, majority owned by Exxon Mobil Corp, said on Friday that its capital expenditure fell about 41 percent to C$819 million in the second quarter.

Its synthetic crude selling prices fell 33 percent to an average of C$75.20 per barrel, while average realized price for bitumen plunged about 35 percent to C$49.16 per barrel.

Imperial's net income from refining operations nearly halved as margins declined and refinery maintenance costs rose.

The company said it began production at the second phase of its Kearl oil sands mine in northern Alberta in June.

Higher volumes at Kearl and Cold Lake sites boosted Imperial's total production by nearly 20 percent to an average 344,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, its highest quarterly production in about eight years.

Imperial's net income plunged about 90 percent to C$120 million, or 14 Canadian cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30. The year-earlier quarter included a C$478 million gain related to the sale of some assets.   Continued...