(Removes reference to Kearl project being equally owned with
Exxon in fifth paragraph. Kearl is 79 percent owned by Imperial
* First-qtr EPS $0.94 vs C$1.19 year earlier
* Total revenue and other income rises 6 percent
* Says start-up of first phase of Kearl oil sands project
April 25 Imperial Oil Ltd, Canada's No.
2 oil producer and refiner, reported a 21 percent fall in
first-quarter profit due to lower crude prices and increased
The company said the start-up of the first phase of its
Kearl oil sands project in northern Alberta is imminent and the
sales of Kearl blend are expected to begin in the third quarter.
Imperial, 69.6 percent owned by Exxon Mobil Corp,
has been struggling to overcome start-up problems at its 110,000
barrel per day Kearl project.
The C$12.9 billion project was originally expected to begin
producing by the end of 2012, but has yet to produce any
The 79 pecent-owned Kearl project will use production
technology that allows the oil sands' tar-like bitumen to flow
to market without the need for upgrade.
The project has been plagued by cost overruns that pushed
the budget nearly two-thirds above Imperial's initial 2009
forecast of C$7.9 billion estimate.
Imperial's net income in the quarter fell to C$798 million
($777 million), or 94 Canadian cents per share, from C$1.02
billion, or C$1.19 per share, a year earlier.
Total revenue and other income rose 6 percent to C$8.01
Imperial's gross production fell 2 percent to average
284,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Cash flow from operations, a key indicator of the company's
ability to pay for new projects and drilling, fell to C$597
million from C$1.05 billion a year earlier.
Prices for most of Imperial's liquid output are based on
that of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil.
The company said the average WTI crude oil price in U.S.
dollars was lower by $8.67 per barrel, or about 8 percent, in
the first quarter, compared with a year earlier.
($1 = 1.0273 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by