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Petroleum News: Canada’s Big Five awash with profits

Canada’s five integrated oil companies — those who explore, produce, refine and market production — feasted off sky-high commodity prices last year and high refining margins, tallying C$9.56 billion in profits, up 34 percent from 2004.
Backed by such riches, Imperial Oil, Shell Canada, Husky Energy (all controlled by non-Canadian investors), along with Petro-Canada and Suncor Energy (both controlled by Canadians), are expected to make life tough for smaller E&P companies in the competition for drilling rigs and service equipment.
With operating costs estimated to have climbed 19 percent in Western Canada last year, the big players are better placed than their junior rivals to handle sharp rises in the upstream sector.
All five are also key operators in the oil sands sector, where they have major projects and expansions under way.
The profit breakdown shows: Imperial Oil C$2.6 billion (C$2.05 billion in 2004), Shell Canada C$2.01 billion (C$1.29 billion in 2004), Husky C$2 billion (C$1.01 billion in 2004), Petro-Canada C $1.79 billion (C$1.76 billion in 2004) and Suncor Energy C$1.25 billion (C$1.09 billion in 2004).
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