Calgary-based energy giant Suncor is reporting net earnings of $1.035 billion ($0.67 per common share) in the third quarter of this year.
That’s down from $1.812 billion ($1.12 per common share) in the corresponding quarter in the prior year.
Funds from operations were $2.675 billion ($1.72 per common share) in the third quarter compared to $3.139 billion ($1.94 per common share) in the same quarter a year earlier, marking the ninth consecutive quarter above $2 billion.
In a news release, Mark Little, the company’s president and chief executive officer, said the results reflect “the ability of our integrated business to deliver strong results across a wide range of market conditions.”
“We continue to demonstrate Suncor’s ongoing commitment to shareholders by returning $1.4 billion in value through dividends and increased share repurchases.”
The company said total oil sands production during the third quarter increased to 670,000 barrels per day (bbls/d), from 651,700 bbls/d in the prior year despite being limited by mandatory production curtailments. The increase was primarily due to higher production at Syncrude, which increased to 162,300 bbls/d, from 106,200 bbls/d in the prior year, and Fort Hills, which increased to 85,500 bbls/d, from 69,400 bbls/d in the prior year, it said.
During the quarter, Suncor said it announced a $1.4 billion-investment in low‑carbon power generation to replace coke‑fired boilers with a new cogeneration facility at its oil sands base plant. That is expected to provide reliable steam generation while contributing to its environmental and incremental free funds flow goals.
The company said it paid $650 million in dividends, repurchased 19.2 million of its common shares, representing 1.2 per cent of the total outstanding common shares, for $756 million, and repaid $572 million of debt in the third quarter.
“Highlights of the third quarter included higher overall crude oil production and refinery crude throughput as compared to the prior year quarter. Higher production at Syncrude and the ramp-up of Fort Hills and Hebron production over the last year increased crude output during the third quarter of 2019, which was partially offset by planned maintenance, the impact of the Alberta government’s mandatory production curtailments and an unplanned outage at Hibernia, which was resolved by the end of the third quarter,” said Suncor.
Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary.