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Calgary-based Cenovus swings to $235 million loss in second quarter on weak oil prices

Cenovus president and CEO Alex Pourbaix addresses the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Wednesday, April 25, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Cenovus Energy Inc. swung to a $235-million loss in the second quarter reflecting weak crude oil prices early in the quarter that contributed to a plunge in revenues.

The oilsands company says its loss amounted to 19 cents per share for the period ended June 30, compared with a profit of $1.45 per share or $1.78 billion a year earlier.

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Total production from continuing operations amounted to 373,189 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up from 344,973 in the same period a year earlier.

Revenues fell to $2.17 billion from $5.6 billion a year earlier.

The Calgary-based company says it quickly ramped up production when Western Canadian Select prices increased almost tenfold from April to an average of C$46.03 per barrel in June.

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Read more: Oilsands companies restore production as demand growth spurs higher prices

Record volumes were therefore reached at its Christina Lake oil sands project in June and it achieved free funds flow for the month of more than $290 million.

“We view the second quarter as a period of transition, with April as the low point of the downturn and the first signs of recovery taking hold in May and June,” stated president and CEO Alex Pourbaix.

“That said, we expect the commodity price environment to remain volatile for some time. We believe the flexibility of our assets and our low cost structure position us to withstand a continued period of low prices if necessary.”

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