October 25, 2012 / 10:18 AM / 5 years ago

Cenovus operating profit rises on higher production

(Reuters) - Cenovus Energy Inc (CVE.TO), Canada’s No. 2 independent oil producer, reported a 43 percent rise in third-quarter operating profit on higher production.

Cenovus, best known for its Foster Creek and Christina Lake projects in Alberta, said total cash flow for the year is now expected to be 22 percent higher than last year. Cash flow in 2011 was C$3.28 billion.

Operating earnings, which exclude most one-time and unusual items, rose to C$432 million ($435.6 million), or 57 Canadian cents per share, from C$303 million, or 40 Canadian cents, a year earlier.

Net income fell to C$289 million, or 38 Canadian cents per share, from C$510 million, or 67 Canadian cents per share.

Cash flow, a glimpse into the company’s ability to pay for new projects, rose 41 percent to C$1.12 billion, or C$1.47 per share.

Combined output from Foster Creek and Christina Lake oil sands production rose 44 percent to 95,625 bbl/d, while company-wide output rose 28 percent to 171,350 bbl/d.

Cenovus, which has an oil sands production and refining joint venture with ConocoPhillips (COP.N), said it is on track to add about 400,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of additional gross oil sands production over the next five years.

Christina Lake production grew more than three-fold in the quarter, the company said.

Shares of Cenovus, which has a market value of nearly C$26 billion, closed at C$34.00 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Reporting by Scott Haggett in Calgary and Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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