Canada's Cenovus Energy posts quarterly loss on oil price plunge

FILE PHOTO: A warning sign is pictured near wellheads that inject steam into the ground and pump oil out at the Cenovus Energy Christina Lake Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) project 120 km (74 miles) south of Fort McMurray, Alberta, August 15, 2013. REUTERS/Todd Korol

(Reuters) - Canadian oil and gas producer Cenovus Energy Inc CVE.TO posted a second-quarter loss on Thursday and said the worst was behind the industry after the COVID-19 pandemic hammered global demand for crude oil and refined products.

Crude prices collapsed earlier this year to historic lows as coronavirus lockdowns drained demand and a battle for market share among the world’s top producers flooded the market with oil.

However, with oil having rebounded from a dip into negative prices in April, producers have started restoring some of their shut-in drilling. Cenovus said earlier in July it had reinstated about 60,000 bpd of idled production.

“We view the second quarter as a period of transition, with April as the low point of the downturn and the first signs of recovery taking hold in May and June,” said Alex Pourbaix, president and chief executive officer of Cenovus.

“That said, we expect the commodity price environment to remain volatile for some time.”

The Calgary, Alberta-based company recorded a net loss of C$235 million ($175.67 million), or 19 Canadian cents per share, for the second quarter ended June 30, from a year ago profit of C$1.78 billion, or C$1.45 per share.

On an adjusted basis, it posted a loss of 34 Canadian cents per share, smaller than the average analyst estimate of 54 Canadian cents per share, according to Refinitiv IBES.

Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath