October 28, 2010 / 12:09 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Opti Canada posts Q3 loss as operating expenses weigh

* Q3 loss C$0.16/shr vs EPS C$0.04 last year

* Revenue up 55 pct

Oct 28 (Reuters) - Opti Canada Inc OPC.TO posted a third-quarter loss, hurt in part by a 23 percent rise in operating expenses due to planned well work-overs and increased operating levels.

Net loss at the company, which is reviewing strategic alternatives, was C$46 million, or 16 Canadian cents a share. That compares with earnings of C$12 million, or 4 Canadian cents a share, last year.

Revenue, net of royalties rose 55 percent to C$59 million, helped by increased bitumen production and higher premium sweet crude sales, the company, which has a 35 percent stake in Nexen Inc’s NXY.TO Long Lake Project in Alberta, said.

Recent bitumen production is exceeding peak levels established in July and is about 31,700 barrels per day (bbl/d), with 11,100 bbl/d net to Opti, the company said.

“We expect our steam and bitumen production to continue to ramp-up throughout the fourth quarter.”

The Calgary, Alberta-based company’s shares, which have lost 62 percent in value since reporting a wider-than-expected second-quarter loss closed at 75 Canadian cents, Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Isheeta Sanghi in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan) ((isheeta.sanghi@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5800; Reuters Messaging: isheeta.sanghi.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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