Oilsands giant Suncor Energy says it more than tripled its profit from the same period last year, from $821 million to $2.95 billion in the first quarter.
Profits were propelled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, which pushed up the price of global oil as the EU offers to cut the purchase of Russian oil imports. This strong demand has also driven gasoline prices in Canada to record highs across the country.
Shareholders will benefit from these prices. Suncor yesterday declared a quarterly dividend of 47 cents per common share.
The Calgary-based oil producer and refiner says the dividend is the highest in company history and is 12% higher than the previous quarter’s dividend.
Suncor is not alone in seeing its business prosper. Suncor’s rivals – Enbridge, Imperial Oil, Canadian Natural Resources and Cenovus Energy – also posted profit increases.
Oil production falls
These profits were made despite the drop in production. Suncor produced 766,100 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in its first quarter, up from 785,900 boepd a year earlier. Its refining throughput was 436,500 barrels per day, up slightly from a year ago.
Suncor also said it was considering selling its entire UK business based on interest received in exploration and production assets.
Suncor’s UK assets are located offshore in the North Sea and include a 29.9% interest in the Buzzard field, as well as a 40% interest in the Roseback project.
Suncor’s share price is lagging its peers. Last month, activist firm Elliott Investment Management, which owns a 3.4% stake in the company, called for major changes, including strategic reviews and new board members.