Suncor Energy reports strong fourth quarter 2023 results

Suncor also announces upcoming changes to its Board of Directors.
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Suncor Energy announced its fourth quarter 2023 results reporting strong profits due to higher production at its facilities.

The Canadian-based energy company says it had adjusted operating earnings of $1.26 per share for the three months ended Dec. 31, fourth-quarter total upstream production of 808,100 barrels of oil equivalent, compared with 763,100 barrels of oil equivalent in Q4 2022. The company also reported what it said was its best-ever Oil Sands production of 757,400 barrels per day (bbls/d) with upgrader utilization over 100% outside maintenance period.

“Our fourth quarter performance can be characterized as finishing the year strong, delivering on commitments, and building momentum coming into 2024,” said Rich Kruger, Suncor’s president and chief executive officer in a note accompanying the release of the results. “Most importantly, the quarter was the safest quarter of the year in what resulted in our safest year ever. In addition, upstream reliability across our operations was at or near record highs, achieving the second highest quarterly total production in the company’s history and the highest quarterly Oil Sands production. Downstream performance was equally strong with refining utilization in the quarter at 98%. Looking ahead, we will continue our intense focus on safety, operational excellence, reliability and profitably to further improve performance and add value for our shareholders.”

Suncor’s adjusted operating earnings were $1.635 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to $2.432 billion in the prior year quarter, with the decrease primarily due to lower crude oil and refined product realizations reflecting a weaker business environment in the current quarter, and decreased sales volumes in Exploration and Production (E&P), partially offset by lower income taxes, increased sales volumes in Oil Sands and increased refinery production in Refining and Marketing (R&M). 

“Fourth quarter operational performance was exceptionally strong and contained several production records, including record Oil Sands production, record gross production at Fort Hills and the second highest quarterly upstream production in our company’s history,” said Kruger. “These results demonstrate how our heightened focus on the fundamentals translates to delivering exceptional performance and meeting our commitments.”

READ: Suncor Energy names new SVP of strategy, sustainability and corporate development

The strong results were helped by Suncor completing in November of last year the acquisition of TotalEnergies Canada, which held the remaining 31.23% working interest in Fort Hills, for $1.468 billion before closing adjustments and other closing costs, making Suncor the sole owner of Fort Hills.

The Terra Nova Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading vessel safely restarted production in the fourth quarter of 2023, with production expected to continue ramping up in the beginning of 2024.

On the news of its quarterly fiscal announcement, Suncor also announced several changes to its Board of Directors with upcoming retirement of two members: Michael Wilson, chair of the Board, has been a member of Suncor’s Board since 2014 and has served as chair since 2017; and Dennis Houston, a member of the Board since 2018 and has served on the human resources and compensation committee and the environment, health, safety and sustainable development committee. 

“I would like to thank Mike and Denny for their outstanding service and commitment to Suncor as members of the Board,” said Rich Kruger, upon the announcement of the retirements. “We value their leadership, expertise and contributions to the company throughout their tenure and wish them all the best as they retire from our Board.” 

With the announcements on the retirements on the Board, the company announced that Russ Girling, a current member of the Board, will be assuming the role of Board chair effective March 15, 2024. 

Appointed to the Board in 2021, Girling has served most recently as the chair of Suncor’s human resources and compensation committee and as a member of the environment, health, safety and sustainable development committee.

“We are pleased to welcome Russ as our new Board Chair,” added Kruger. “Management and the other Board members look forward to working closely with him, leveraging his extensive industry experience and leadership expertise, as we work together to create value through the execution of our business strategy.”

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