Husky Energy Inc. reported reduced first-quarter profit on lower prices for crude.
Calgary-based Husky, controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, said net earnings for the three months ended March 31, 2013 were $535-million or 54 cents per share, down 9 per cent from $591-million or 60 cents per share in the year-earlier period.
On an adjusted basis, net profit was 56 cents per share, compared with 58 cents.
The company said average benchmark prices for Lloydminster heavy crude fell 22 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2012.
Total upstream production in the first quarter averaged 321,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, compared with 320,000 barrels in the same period a year ago.
Husky’s board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 30 cents per share.
Husky is Canada’s third largest integrated oil and gas company.
“The industry has been challenged by volatile commodity price and location differentials, however as part of our focused integration strategy we have made strategic investments in our Downstream infrastructure that allow us to diminish the impact of market changes, Husky chief financial officer Alister Cowan said in a news release.
Downstream operations include refineries and an upgrader.
Husky said construction on its Sandall heavy oil thermal project is about 55 per cent complete, with startup scheduled for next year.
The Liwan gas project in the South China Sea is on schedule, with first gas expected in late 2013 or early 2014, the company said.
Total production from heavy oil and thermal projects in the first quarter was about 122,000 barrels a day, up from about 106,000 barrels per day in the year-earlier period.