Imperial Oil’s Calgary second-quarter earnings soar

Imperial Oil Ltd. Chief Executive Brad Corson said Friday that the federal government’s strategy to cut emissions and achieve net-zero levels was excessive from Ottawa.

“It’s very aggressive and stretches the capacity of what’s technically and economically feasible,” Corson said on a conference call with analysts.

Earlier this month, Ottawa released a statement outlining ways to design the oil and gas emissions cap, which is part of its 2030 emissions reduction plan, and launched consultations on it.

The first option is a cap and trade system under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act which sets regulated limits on emissions from the sector.

The second option would impose a higher carbon price on industry.

“We share the government’s goal of addressing climate change very proactively,” Corson said, but stressed the need for a balance between protecting the environment and maintaining oil supplies.

“I believe we can achieve both goals,” he said, adding that there must be a collective effort between government and industry to achieve this.

Imperial has set targets to reduce its greenhouse gas intensity by 30% by 2030 and reach net zero in the company’s oil sands operations by 2050.

His comments come as the company posted a meteoric rise in profits in its latest quarter amid soaring energy prices and increased production.

The Calgary-based company said its second-quarter net profit was $2.41 billion or $3.63 per share, more than six times higher than the $366 million or 50 cents per share it reported during the same period of 2021.

Total revenue and other income in the three months ended June 30 was $17.31 billion, compared to $8.05 billion a year ago.

Imperial said its upstream production was 413,000 barrels of crude oil equivalent per day, the highest second quarter in more than 30 years.

The company also announced a third-quarter dividend of 34 cents per share.

Corson said the company’s results were supported by a continued focus on safe and reliable operations and strength in commodity prices in a statement that was part of Friday’s earnings release.

The company also said quarterly gross production from its Kearl oil sands project averaged 224,000 barrels per day, reflecting a full recovery in operating performance from the impact of freezing temperatures experienced in the first quarter. as well as the completion of its planned annual turnaround.

Production from Kearl is expected to exceed 280,000 gross barrels per day in the second half of the year, the company said.

“I’m very pleased to see Kearl’s production performance return to normal levels in the second quarter, with extreme cold impacts now firmly behind us,” Corson said.

During the conference call, Imperial said 2023 capital spending is expected to reach $1.5 billion.

Imperial Oil shares rose $2.96, or 5.01%, to $62.02 in early Friday afternoon.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 29, 2022.

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