Suncor Energy Inc. reports a loss mainly to asset impairment charges of $3.3 billion, in a Feb. 5, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Suncor Energy Inc. reports a loss mainly to asset impairment charges of $3.3 billion, in a Feb. 5, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Suncor Energy posts $2.3B loss as it writes down oilsands and offshore assets

CALGARY — Suncor Energy Inc. is reporting a net loss of $2.3 billion for the fourth quarter of 2019 due mainly to asset impairment charges of $3.3 billion.

The Calgary company says about $2.8 billion of the charges are related to lower forecast oil prices for production from its Fort Hills oilsands mine in northern Alberta.

About $393 million accounts for higher capital cost estimates for the West White Rose Project off Newfoundland and Labrador, expected to begin producing oil in 2022.

Analysts had expected net income of $1.1 billion or 65 cents per share in the last three months of 2019, up from $580 million or 36 cents in the same quarter of 2018, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Suncor reported comparable operating earnings rose to $782 million or 51 cents per share in the quarter ended Dec. 31 due to improved western Canadian crude oil prices.

Total upstream production was 778,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day during the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to 831,000 boe/d in the prior year quarter.

The decrease was mainly due to lower oilsands production of 418,000 barrels per day, compared with 433,000 in the year-earlier period, as a result of planned maintenance and provincial production curtailments in Alberta.

The company says it will increase its quarterly dividend by 11 per cent to 46.5 cents per share in March.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2020.

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