Canada's Imperial oil posts second-quarter loss on coronavirus-led oil slump

Canadian integrated energy company Imperial Oil Ltd posted a second-straight quarterly loss, hit by lower crude prices and refining margins as the COVID-19 pandemic dented demand for fuel and related products.

The coronavirus outbreak led to the grounding of flights and brought economies to a standstill, hurting demand for fuel and forcing producers to implement widespread output cuts to curb oversupply after oil prices collapsed this year.

Imperial, which is majority owned by Exxon Mobil Corp, said its refinery throughput averaged 278,000 barrels per day, 19% lower than last year, with overall utilization at 66% in the quarter.

Prices for the company’s U.S. crude fell about 53.5% to $27.83 per barrel, while Canadian crude prices dropped about 66% from year-ago levels to $16.73 per barrel.

The company said it expects lower realized prices for its products to result in substantially lower earnings and cash generated from operations than in 2019, unless conditions improve significantly in the latter half of the year.

Imperial’s quarterly average production for the quarter fell 13.3% to 347,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) due to scheduled shutdowns of its Kearl and Syncrude oil sands deposits to balance near-term output with poor demand.

The Calgary, Alberta-based posted a loss of C$526 million ($391.86 million), or 72 Canadian cents per share, for the second quarter ended June 30, compared with a profit of C$1.21 billion, or C$1.57 per share, last year.

Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

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