UPDATE 3-Cenovus Energy again cuts dividend, 2016 budget and jobs

Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:43pm EST
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* Adjusted loss C$0.53/shr vs est. loss 0.20/share

* Cuts first-quarter dividend by 69 pct to C$0.05/share

* Cuts 2016 budget by C$200-C$300 mln to C$1.2-C$1.3 bln

* Says plans to further reduce its workforce (Adds quote, details on divestiture plans; share price)

By Nia Williams

CALGARY, Alberta, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Canadian oil producer Cenovus Energy Inc posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss and announced a fresh round of cuts to its quarterly dividend, 2016 capital budget and workforce on Thursday in response to an incessant fall in oil prices.

The Calgary-based company has been grappling with a more than 70 percent fall in crude since June 2014, and said it would lower spending at its Foster Creek and Christina Lake oil sands projects in Alberta, which are joint ventures with ConocoPhillips.

Alberta's vast oil sand deposits are the world's third-largest crude reserves, but are more expensive to operate in than conventional oil fields.

"We had a stiff headwind in 2015, which in 2016 has gone to hurricane force," chief executive Brian Ferguson said on an earnings call, adding that capital discipline and balance sheet strength would be top priorities. "This is not a time for half measures."   Continued...