Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., or CNRL, reported dramatically improved adjusted earnings in the second quarter of this year, beating analysts’ expectations.  Company photo.

CNRL dropping costs at Oil Sands Mining and Upgrading assets

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. reports $982 million in net earnings in the second quarter of this year.  The Calgary-based company says that it has significantly improved adjusted earnings, beating analyst estimates.

The company says that it was able to allocate capital in the second quarter to “take advantage of our large, balanced and diverse asset base”.  CNRL says it is shifting capital from primary heavy crude oil to light crude oil.

As well, Canadian Natural’s President Tim McKay says “in the second quarter of 2018, operations were strong and cost control remained a focus, specifically at our Oil Sands Mining and Upgrading assets, where costs continue to come down”.

According to CNRL, net earnings for the oil sands and natural gas producer was 80 cents per diluted share and were down from $1.07 billion or 93 cents per share in Q2 2017.

“Operating costs of $22.94/barrel of Synthetic Crude Oil were impressive given the successfully completed turnaround and pit stop activities in the quarter,” says McKay.

Adjusted net earnings from operations grew to $1.28 billion, or $1.04 per share.  This is nearly four times higher than this time last year when adjusted net earnings was $332 million or 29 cents per share.

The company reports that product sales are up 54 per cent in the most recent quarter to $6.39 billion from $4.13 billion in Q2 2017.  CNRL credits higher volumes and improving oil prices for the increase.

Corey Bieber, CNRL’s Chief Financial Officer said “our strong financial results allowed the company to further strengthen the balance sheet by decreasing absolute long term net debt by over $600 million from the previous quarter, and returning over $850 million to shareholders by way of dividends and share buybacks in the quarter”.

According to Thomson Reuters Eikon, analysts had forecast 81 cents per share of adjusted earnings and 81 cents per share of net earnings.