Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Big 2011 profits for Cenovus

Big 2011 profits for Cenovus

February 16, 2012 | PEU160212

Cenovus Energy, one of Canada’s largest in situ oil-sands producers, posted 241% higher fourth-quarter profits as a result of higher production and prices. The company, which was spun off from Encana in late 2009, made net profit of C$266 million ($266 million) in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with $78 million the year before. Production climbed to 144,273 barrels a day (b/d) from 129,593 b/d in the same period in 2010. Net in situ oil-sands output rose by 23%, to 74,596 b/d, from 60,789 b/d in fourth-quarter.

Cenovus is in a refining and production joint venture with ConocoPhillips, which sees that output processed at refineries in the US. In the fourth quarter, the companies completed a coker expansion at the Wood River refinery in Illinois, which will allow production growth.

A pioneer of steam-assisted gravity-drainage, which uses horizontal well pairs to simultaneously inject steam and bring loosened bitumen back to surface, at year-end, Cenovus had about 1.5 billion barrels of proved bitumen on its books, up by about 26% from 2010. Contingent resources rose by 34% to 8.4 billion barrels, which company officials hope will translate into higher net asset value. On Wall Street, the company’s shares were slightly down from an all-time high of $40.73, more than double Encana’s $19.36.
“Despite the challenging economic environment, our financial results were stronger in 2011,” chief executive Brian Ferguson said. “We’re well positioned for another successful year in 2012.” SP

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