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Imperial Oil earns $366 million; Kearl oilsands site sets 25 year production record

Imperial Oil logo at the company's annual meeting in Calgary on April 28, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Imperial Oil Ltd. says it earned $366 million in the second quarter and boosted production to its highest level in 25 years for the same period.

The Calgary-based company says it earned 50 cents per share in the three months ended June 30, compared with a net loss of $526 million or 72 cents per share in the same period of 2020.

However, its second-quarter earnings declined from the first quarter of 2021, when it earned $758 million. Its cash flow from operating activities in the second quarter was $852 million, down from $1.05 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

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Imperial attributed the decrease to significant planned turnaround activity, weaker downstream margins and foreign exchange rates.

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The company says its production for the second quarter averaged 401,000 boe per day, the highest second-quarter production in more than 25 years. It says its Kearl oilsands mine in northern Alberta completed a major planned turnaround in the quarter and also established a new single-month production record of 311,000 boe per day in June.

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Imperial says the lingering effects of the weak 2020 business environment and the COVID-19 pandemic continued to have a negative impact on the company’s financial results in the first half of 2021, but strengthening crude oil prices means the outlook is improving.

“The decisive actions Imperial took throughout the pandemic to accelerate structural business improvements have enabled the company to recover strongly,” CEO Brad Corson said in a release.

“Imperial has significant momentum entering the second half of the year and is well-positioned to continue delivering on its commitments.”

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West Texas Intermediate averaged US$62.22 per barrel in the first six months of 2021, up from US$36.66 per barrel in 2020.

Corson says with major turnarounds at Kearl and the company’s Strathcona Refinery complete, Imperial can turn its attention to increasing production, increasing refinery utilization, and returning cash to shareholders.

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