February 14, 2008 / 11:19 AM / in 10 years

EnCana profit soars 63 percent

<p>Doug Shea, drill informant for EnCana, walks past an EnCana gas drilling well east of Calgary, Alberta, February 15, 2007. The company said on Thursday quarterly profit rose 63 percent, driven by favorable gas price hedges and a strong performance from the downstream portion of its integrated oil business. REUTERS/Todd Korol</p>

TORONTO (Reuters) - EnCana Corp (ECA.TO) said on Thursday quarterly profit rose 63 percent, driven by favorable gas price hedges and a strong performance from the downstream portion of its integrated oil business.

EnCana, Canada’s largest oil and gas company, reported fourth-quarter net income of $1.08 billion, or $1.43 per share, up from $663 million, or 82 cents a share, a year earlier.

Cash flow, a key measure of the company’s ability to pay for new projects and drilling, rose 10 percent to $1.93 billion, or $2.56 per share, from $1.76 billion, or $2.18 a year earlier.

EnCana’s oil and gas liquids production rose 4 percent to 136,000 barrels a day in the quarter. Natural gas output climbed 9 percent from the final quarter of 2006 to 3.7 billion cubic feet a day.

The company expects 2008 natural gas production to increase by about 6 percent to about 3.8 billion cubic feet a day, while it sees oil and gas liquids production dropping 1 percent to 132,000 barrels, mostly because of a natural decline in mature properties.

Reporting by Scott Anderson; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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