July 15, 2010 / 11:12 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 2-Opti Canada loss wider than expected on forex hit

* Q2 loss/shr C$0.54 vs est loss/shr C$0.15

* Q2 rev up 79 pct

* Says output at Long Lake rises 33 pct sequentially

(Recasts; adds details)

July 15 (Reuters) - Opti Canada Inc OPC.TO posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss, hurt by higher operating expenses and unfavorable currency rates, despite strengthening oil prices and higher production.

Second-quarter net loss at the company, which has a 35 percent interest in Nexen Inc’s NXY.TO Long Lake Project in Alberta, was C$152 million, or 54 Canadian cents a share, compared with C$9 million, or 4 Canadian cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue, net of royalties, rose 79 percent to C$61 million, partly due to higher bitumen production.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to post a loss of 15 Canadian cents a share, on revenue of C$66.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Opti Canada said output at Long Lake, closely watched by investors who have waited for the project to rise to its design capacity of 72,000 barrels of bitumen per day, was up 33 percent sequentially to 24,900 barrels per day.

For the quarter, foreign exchange translation was a C$104 million loss compared to a C$171 million gain for the same period in 2009, the company said in a statement.

Operating expenses at the company, which is reviewing strategic alternatives, rose 36 percent to C$53 million.

Separately, Nexen, Canada’s No. 5 independent oil company, reported a 92 percent jump in second-quarter profit as oil and gas prices strengthened. [ID:nSGE66E0EN]

Shares of the Calgary, Alberta-based company closed at C$1.95 Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan) (aftab.ahmed@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5800; Reuters Messaging: aftab.ahmed.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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