CALGARY — Suncor Energy Inc. is reporting a second-quarter net loss of $614 million after it cut back on production to deal with sharply reduced crude prices amid lower global energy demand.

The loss, which equates to 40 cents per share, compares with net earnings of $2.73 billion or $1.74 per share in the same period of 2019, but beat analyst expectations of a loss of $1.28 billion, according to Refinitiv.

The net loss includes a $478-million unrealized after-tax foreign exchange gain on the revaluation of U.S. dollar denominated debt.

Suncor’s total production was 655,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day during the three months ended June 30, 18.5 per cent less than the 803,900 boe/d in the prior year quarter, as it took measures including shutting down one of the two production trains at its Fort Hills oilsands mine in northern Alberta.

It says refinery crude throughput was 350,400 barrels per day as utilization fell to 76 per cent in the second quarter, down 12 per cent from 399,100 bpd and utilization of 86 per cent in the year-earlier period.

Suncor is reporting an operating loss of $1.49 billion, compared to operating earnings of $1.25 billion in the second quarter of 2019.

“We experienced unprecedented volatility this quarter in all facets of our business as the COVID-19 pandemic and OPEC+ supply issues continued to impact the industry,” said CEO Mark Little in a statement.

“The company took decisive action to respond to both these issues, enabling us to manage through this period of volatility and maintain financial resilience for the future.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2020.

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