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MEG Energy Corp's first-quarter loss widens

May 7 (Reuters) - MEG Energy Corp said on Tuesday its quarterly loss widened, as the Canadian oil sands producer was hit by Alberta's mandatory output cuts.

OR Canadian oil sands producer MEG Energy Corp reported a smaller quarterly loss on Tuesday, benefiting from selling more barrels of bitumen crude at higher prices.

The Calgary-based company said net loss widened/narrowed to C$xxx million ($XXX million), or C$xx per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from C$xxx million, or xx Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Production of bitumen crude, which is a low-grade oil, rose/fell to xxxxx barrels per day (bpd) from xxxxxx bpd a year earlier.


Update 1


Positive

Canadian oil sands producer MEG Energy Corp on Tuesday reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss/surprise profit, benefiting from selling more barrels of bitumen crude at higher prices.

MEG, whose key operations are in the Athabasca oil sands region in Alberta, said bitumen crude production rose xx percent to xxxxxx barrels per day (bpd), while average realized prices rose to C$xx per barrel from C$xx from a year earlier.

Alberta government's mandated production cuts, which came into effect on Jan. 1, have helped free up some pipeline space for the country's crude, sharply reducing a price difference between Canadian and U.S. oil.

Bitumen is a low-grade crude oil, composed of complex and heavy hydrocarbons that is not pumped from wells but is strip-mined or boiled loose underground.

Excluding one time items, the company posted a loss of xx Canadian cents per share against a loss estimate of xx Canadian cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.


Negative

MEG Energy Corp reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss on Tuesday, as the Canadian oil sands producer sold less bitumen crude on the back of Alberta's output cuts.

MEG, whose key operations are in the Athabasca oil sands region in Alberta, said bitumen crude production fell by xx percent to xxxxxx barrels per day (bpd), while average realized prices rose to C$xx per barrel from C$xx a year earlier.

MEG's production declined due to mandatory output curtailments imposed by the Alberta provincial government since Jan. 1. The cuts have helped free up some pipeline space for the country's crude, sharply reducing a price difference between Canadian and U.S. oil.

Bitumen is a low-grade crude oil, composed of complex and heavy hydrocarbons that is not pumped from wells but is strip-mined or boiled loose underground.

Excluding one time items, the company posted a loss of xx Canadian cents per share against analysts' estimates of a/an xx Canadian cents loss, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.


Estimates:


Q4:

Loss per share:

Revenue:

Production:

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In January, MEG Energy said it would halve its capital spending to a maximum of C$275 million this year.

MEG said it would spend most of its 2019 budget, which includes maintenance capital of C$115 million, or about $3.50 per barrel, on completion and tie-in of sustaining wells.

The company said it expects production to average between 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) and 92,000 bpd this year.

(Reporting by Debroop Roy in Bengaluru)