Canada's Suncor posts profit as crude prices recover from 2020 lows

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Suncor Energy facility is seen in Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Candace Elliott/File Photo

May 3 (Reuters) - Canadian oil and gas producer Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO) on Monday reported first-quarter profit after a loss in the prior quarter, buoyed by a recovery in crude prices from the pandemic-led lows hit last year and cost cutting measures.

Like many of its peers, Suncor has been benefiting from a rebound in oil prices driven by a recovery in global fuel demand, after it was decimated in 2020 due to coronavirus lockdowns.

But the pandemic continues to rage in certain parts of the world and the demand outlook remains uncertain.

Canada's second-biggest oil producer said total production rose to 785,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) during the first quarter ended March 31, from 769,200 boepd a quarter earlier.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Little said strong performance and free fund flow helped reduce its total debt by C$1.1 billion ($895.77 million) and repurchase over C$300 million in common shares in the quarter.

The company posted net earnings of C$821 million, or 54 Canadian cents per share, for the period, compared with a loss of C$168 million, or 11 Canadian cent per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31.

($1 = 1.2280 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Sahil Shaw and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru

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