February 1, 2012 / 3:43 AM / in 6 years

UPDATE 1-Suncor Energy Q4 profit up 10 pct on oil prices

(Updates briefs)

Jan 31 - Suncor Energy Inc, Canada’s largest oil and gas producer, said late on Tuesday its fourth-quarter profit rose 10 percent, helped by higher oil prices.

Suncor reported net income of C$1.42 billion ($1.42 billion), or 91 Canadian cents per share, up from a year-prior profit of C$1.28 million, or 82 Canadian cents.

Operating income, which excludes most one-time items, rose to C$1.42 billion, or 91 Canadian cents, from C$808 million, or 52 Canadian cents in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Suncor is the dominant producer in the Canadian oil sands sector and benefited from strong oil prices in the quarter.

The West Texas Intermediate crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the North American benchmark, averaged $92.39 a barrel in the quarter, up 10 percent from a year earlier, while the European Brent standard rose 25 percent to average $109.02 a barrel.

Suncor’s cash flow, a key indicator of the company’s ability to fund new projects, rose 20 percent to C$2.65 billion, or C$1.69 per share, up from C$2.13 billion, or C$1.36.

The company said production from its operations in Canada, the North Sea and elsewhere averaged 576,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day, down 8.5 percent from 625,600 BOEPD. ($1 = 1.0029 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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