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A worker on an Athabasca Oil Corp. oil rigHandout

Athabasca Oil Corp. is reporting a reduced net loss and improved cash flow from operations in the third quarter, compared with both the same time last year and the second quarter of 2014.

The Calgary-based company has been undergoing a year of change including a 15 per cent workforce reduction announced in March, the sale of its 40-per-cent stake in the Dover oil sands project to a subsidiary of PetroChina for nearly $1.2-billion in August, and the retirement of chief executive Sveinung Svarte on Sept. 30, when the quarter ended.

Athabasca said Friday it had a $19.9-million net loss and comprehensive loss in the three months ended Sept. 30, or five cents per share, while operations provided $7.2-million or two cents per share of positive funds flow.

A year earlier, Athabasca had a net and comprehensive loss of $30.5-million or seven cents per share and operations had negative cash flow of $5.3 million or one cent per share.

In the second quarter ended June 30, Athabasca Oil had a loss of $56.7-million or 14 cents per share and $4.9-million or one cent per share of positive funds flow from operations.

"Athabasca recognizes that we need to transition into being a producer that is focused on delivering strong production and cash flow growth while at the same time preserving a strong balance sheet and financial flexibility," said Tom Buchanan, who replaced Svarte as president and CEO.

"Our key near-term priorities include the disciplined execution of our capital plan and the competitiveness of our cost structure. We are also undertaking a process to bolster our corporate governance and enhance the execution of our business plan."

The company said it would provide updates on its strategic review "in the coming months."

It said its light oil division will focus on the Kaybob region, with the Duvernay formation serving as the primary growth driver. The thermal oil division will focus on commissioning and ramping up phase 1 of the Hangingstone oil sands project.

The light oil division produced the equivalent of 6,381 barrels per day in the third quarter. The thermal oil division is expected to begin production in 2015 and reach a production plateau of 12,000 barrels per day in 2016.