Suncor Energy reports third quarter net earnings of $1.69 billion

CALGARY – Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU) says it recorded net earnings were $1.69 billion, or $1.13 per common share, for the third quarter, compared with $1.54 billion, or $1.01 per common share, in the third quarter of 2012,

The Calgary-based energy giant credits record production in the oil sands segment and favourable pricing for western Canadian crude oil.

Suncor says it logged record average quarterly production of 396,400 barrels per day at its oil sands operations and lower cash operating costs of $32.60 per barrel.

During the quarter, Suncor completed the sale of a significant portion of its natural gas business in Western Canada for proceeds of $1 billion, before adjustments and other closing costs, resulting in an after-tax gain of $130 million.

On Wednesday, Suncor announced that its Fort Hills oil sands mining project received sanction. The project is expected to provide Suncor with up to 73,000 barrels a day of bitumen, with the first oil expected by the fourth quarter of 2017.

“This quarter’s results reflect a significant step forward in our drive to increase profitability,” said Steve Williams, president and chief executive officer.

“We achieved record oil sands production in the quarter as a result of debottlenecking activities that unlocked production in our mining operations, increased our operational flexibility and added incremental barrels at a low cost.”