January 29, 2009 / 7:58 PM / 9 years ago

Imperial oil boosts 2009 spending despite prices

CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Imperial Oil Ltd (IMO.TO) said on Thursday it will boost spending on its 2009 capital and exploration program by nearly 60 percent, to C$2.2 billion ($1.8 billion), even as most Canadian energy firms cut their budgets because of low oil prices.

The company, Canada's biggest oil exploration and refining firm, said it would raise its spending from C$1.4 billion last year as it looks to advance major projects like its planned C$8 billion Kearl oil sands project.

$1=$1.22 Canadian Reporting by Scott Haggett; editing by Rob Wilson

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