UPDATE 1-Imperial Oil profit misses estimate as plunging crude weighs
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Feb 2 (Reuters) - Imperial Oil Ltd, Canada's No.2 integrated oil producer and refiner, reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by a prolonged slump in crude oil prices.
Imperial, like most its peers, endured a torrid fourth quarter in which global oil prices continued to slide.
Exxon Mobil Corp, which owns 69.6 percent of Imperial, also reported a 58 percent drop in quarterly profit on Tuesday.
Imperial said gross production averaged 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up from 315,000 a year earlier.
The company sold its bitumen from oil sands for an average price of C$22.82 per barrel, compared with C$52.37 per barrel a year earlier.
Synthetic crude selling prices fell 31.1 percent to an average of C$56.56 per barrel, the company said.
Imperial said net income fell to C$102 million ($72.9 million), or 12 Canadian cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from C$671 million, or 79 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts had expected a profit of 30 Canadian cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Continued...