April 26, 2012 / 1:33 PM / 6 years ago

Imperial Oil profit rises on strong refining margins

(Reuters) - Imperial Oil Ltd (IMO.TO), Canada’s No. 2 oil producer and refiner, said its first-quarter profit rose 30 percent primarily due to strong refining margins.

Net income rose to C$1.02 billion, or C$1.19 per share, from C$781 million, or 91 Canadian cents, a year earlier.

Profit from the downstream segment rose by C$179 million to C$455 million, the company said in a statement.

Imperial, majority-owned by Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), operates four Canadian refineries and produces oil from the Cold Lake oilsands project as well as from its 25 percent share of the Syncrude Canada Ltd oil sands project.

The company’s C$10.9 billion, 110,000 barrel per day Kearl oil sands project is slated to open by year-end.

Imperial’s cash flow from operations, a key indicator of the company’s ability to pay for new projects and drilling, rose 9 percent to C$1.05 billion.

The company’s gross production fell 7 percent to 289,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day due to divestment of natural gas assets.

Reporting by Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore and Scott Hagget in Calgary; Editing by Don Sebastian

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