Suncor Energy Inc, Canada's second-largest energy producer, reported a quarterly loss on Feb. 5 compared with a profit a year ago, as lower prices for the country's crude offset gains from higher refinery margins.
Canada, the world's fourth largest producer of crude oil, has suffered from a steep discount for its oil, as tight pipeline space and insufficient rail capacity pushed the differentials between Canadian oil and U.S. prices to their largest spread in years.
Suncor produced 432,700 barrels per day (bbl/d) from the oil sands operations in the fourth quarter, compared with 446,800 a year earlier. Cash operating costs per barrel for oil sands operations rose to $18.58 a barrel, up from $18.36 a barrel a year ago.
The Calgary, Alberta-based company reported a net loss of $212 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from a profit of $1.05 billion per share, a year earlier.
The fourth quarter included a $637 million foreign exchange loss on the revaluation of U.S. dollar-denominated debt, as well as a non-cash impairment loss on an equity investment.
Total upstream production rose to 831,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), compared with 736,400 in the year-ago quarter.
Earlier on Tuesday, Suncor announced its quarterly dividend was increased by 17% to 42 Canadian cents per common share, payable March 25.
Blackstone Energy Partners made an equity commitment of $500 million in Waterfield Midstream, a Permian Basin oil and gas water management platform.
Drilling curbs by oil producers in the Permian Basin, the largest U.S. shale field, will continue until transport bottlenecks ease and investors stop punishing companies, executives say.
Production from Occidental Petroleum's Permian Basin unit rose 57% to 250,000 boe/d in the fourth quarter, boosted by its investments in the basin.