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Marcel Coutu to retire as CEO of Canadian Oil Sands

Marcel Coutu, the CEO of Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., is pictured in 2011. The company announced July 30, 2013, that Mr. Coutu would retire from the CEO position.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Marcel Coutu will retire as chief executive of Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. after 12 years in the position, the company said Tuesday as it reported a more than doubling of second-quarter profit.

Mr. Coutu, who will retire on Jan. 1., oversaw Canadian Oil Sands' expansion to a company with a market value of $10-billion, a fivefold increase from his appointment in 2001, when it was an income trust. In that time, its stake in the Syncrude Canada Ltd. oil sands project in northern Alberta has increased to nearly 37 per cent from 22 per cent, making it the largest interest owner in the joint venture.

Canadian Oil Sands said it has launched a search for a successor. Mr. Coutu will provide consulting services to the company for a year after he steps down.

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In the second quarter, the company earned $219-million, or 45 cents a share, up from a year earlier $101-million, or 21 cents a share. Cash flow increased 40 per cent to $343-million, or 71 cents a share, from $245-million or 51 cents a share.

It said results were bolstered by higher production at Syncrude and a jump in realized prices for synthetic crude oil wrung from the oil sands. Second-quarter output averaged 100,100 barrels a day net to the company, up 16 per cent from the same period in 2012.

Output was tempered by Syncrude's decision to start maintenance on a major processing unit a few months earlier.

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