October 30, 2014 / 2:53 AM / 4 years ago

Suncor profit drops on prices, weaker production

CALGARY, Alberta, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Suncor Energy Inc , Canada’s largest oil and gas company, said on Wednesday its third-quarter profit fell by nearly half on lower production and weaker commodity prices.

Suncor said its net income for the quarter was C$919 million($822 million), or 63 Canadian cents per share, down 46 percent from C$1.69 billion, or C$1.13, in the third quarter of 2013.

Adjusted earnings, which excludes most one-time items, fell 36 percent to C$1.31 billion, or 89 Canadian cents per share, from C$1.43 billion, or 95 Canadian cents.

The adjusted result beat the average analyst forecast of 77 Canadian cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Suncor, the largest oil sands producer, is ramping up its production from the world’s third-largest crude oil reserve. It said output from its northern Alberta operations rose 3.9 percent to 411,700 barrels per day.

Benchmark prices for its oil sands bitumen fell 13 percent from the year-prior quarter to $77.00 per barrel.

In total, the company produced 519,300 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), down from 595,000 boepd in the year-prior quarter because of maintenance at its operations, lower output from its Libyan properties and the sale of some Western Canadian reserves.

Cash flow, a key indicator of the company’s ability to pay for new projects and drilling, fell to C$2.28 billion, or C$1.56 per share, from C$2.53 billion, or C$1.69.

Along with its Alberta tar sands projects, Suncor produces oil off Canada’s east coast, in the North Sea and elsewhere. It also owns refineries in Canada and the United States.

1 US dollar = 1.1186 Canadian dollar Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Richard Pullin

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