Imperial Oil Fourth-Quarter Profit Sinks Amid Lower Crude Price

Imperial Oil Ltd., the Canadian affiliate of Exxon Mobil Corp., said profit in the fourth quarter sank as oil remained near 12-year lows amid rising production.

Net income in the quarter fell to C$102 million ($73 million), or 12 cents a share, from C$671 million, or 79 cents a year earlier, Imperial said Tuesday in a statement. The company’s upstream operations recorded a loss in the quarter of C$289 million compared with a gain of C$218 million a year ago.

Imperial Oil, based in Calgary, operates three refineries, Esso-brand gas filling stations and is a producer of bitumen from oil-sands mining and thermal technology in Alberta. The company is boosting output at its Kearl mine and at leases in the Cold Lake area. Revenue from Imperial refineries helped offset lower crude prices that weighed on production.

Output in the quarter averaged 400,000 barrels per day, compared with 315,000 barrels in the year-earlier period, the company said.

West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark crude, averaged $42.16 in the quarter, 42 percent less than in the year-earlier period. Earlier this month, oil fell to the lowest in more than 12 years.

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