3 Min Read
* Production could fall to 70,000 bpd if co loses power
* Cuts 2016 production forecast by 7,000 boe/d
* Adj loss of C$0.50/shr vs est loss of C$0.57 (Adds comments from conference call, details)
May 5 (Reuters) - Canadian Natural Resources Ltd said its oil sands operations were stable after some outages due to the massive wildfire raging in the country's energy heartland.
Executives on the company's post-earnings conference call did not specify what the outages were.
The massive wildfire near Fort McMurray in Alberta has prompted companies, including Suncor Energy Inc and Shell Canada, to shutter nearly one-third of the nation's oil sands production and has closed key pipelines.
Canadian Natural's production could go down to 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) if the company's Horizon oil sands project - located just north of Fort McMurray - were to lose power, an executive said on the call.
The company expects to produce 120,000-132,000 bpd from its oil sands operations this year.
Canadian Natural, the country's largest independent petroleum producer, also reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Thursday, sending its shares up nearly 4 percent in Toronto and New York.
Wildfires raging in neighboring British Columbia could hurt the company's natural gas production by 32 million cubic feet per day and its natural gas liquids (NGL) output by 900 bpd, the executive said.
Virtually all of Canadian Natural's natural gas and NGL production comes from assets located in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
Canadian Natural, which also has operations in the North Sea and offshore West Africa, cut its total production forecast for the year by 7,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) to 802,000-861,000 boe/d.
The cut in production forecast was not because of the wildfire, but because of the company's decision to shut-in some uneconomic gas production, analysts told Reuters.
The company said it expects current-quarter production of 791,000-822,000 boe/d, well below the 844,531 boe/d it produced in the three months ended March 31.
Net loss narrowed to C$105 million, or 10 Canadian cents per share, in the first quarter, from C$252 million, or 23 Canadian cents per share a year earlier.
Adjusted loss was 50 Canadian cents per share, lower than analysts' average estimate of 57 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue fell 28.2 percent to C$2.18 billion, missing analysts' expectations of C$2.23 billion.
Canadian Natural's Toronto-listed shares were marginally down at C$35.59 in afternoon trading, its U.S-listed shares were marginally lower at $27.69. ($1 = 1.2821 Canadian dollars)
Reporting by Arathy S Nair and Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru; Editing by Swetha Gopinath and Shounak Dasgupta