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Imperial Oil posts $181M loss tied to Alberta wildfires, revenue falls 14%

CALGARY – Imperial Oil had a $181-million loss in its second quarter, mostly due to the wildfires that raged through northern Alberta in May, sparking a massive evacuation and curtailing oilsands production.

The Calgary-based company (TSX:IMO) says the wildfires accounted for $170 million of the reduction in its net income from last year’s second quarter, when the company was profitable.

It says the wildfires reduced its production by 60,000 barrels per day. Excluding the wildfires, it estimates production would have increased by 45,000 barrels per day or 13 per cent.

Imperial’s loss amounted to 21 cents per share and compared with a year-earlier profit of 14 cents per share or $120 million.

Total revenue also declined, falling by 14.4 per cent or nearly a billion dollars to $6.25 billion.

In addition to the wildfires, Imperial’s operations felt the impact of planned maintenance at its Kearl and Syncrude oilsands operations, and its Strathcona refinery east of Edmonton and Nanticoke refinery on the shore of Lake Erie in Ontario.

“Although our facilities were not damaged by the wildfires, operationally both Kearl and Syncrude were significantly impacted,” Rich Kruger, Imperial’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.

“Syncrude operations were halted in early May, the first complete shutdown in the site’s nearly 40-year history, with a staged restart of operations in mid-June.”

Syncrude is one of the world’s oldest oilsands operations — owned by a partnership that includes Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) and Imperial Oil (TSX:IMO).