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