Canadian Natural Resources Ltd quarterly loss narrows as costs, production fall

, International

Canadian Natural has lowered costs, slowed drilling and reduced salaries as it seeks to avoid job cuts in the slump, and remains focused on completing expansions of the Horizon oilsands mining project this year and next.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., the nation’s largest heavy-oil producer, reported a narrower first-quarter loss as production volumes met forecasts and costs dropped.

The net loss shrank to $105 million, or 10 cents a share, from $252 million, or 23 cents, a year earlier, the Calgary-based company said Thursday in a statement. Excluding one-time items, the per-share loss from operations was 50 cents, beating the 58-cent loss expected by analysts, according to the average of 15 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Canadian Natural has lowered costs, slowed drilling and reduced salaries as it seeks to avoid job cuts in the slump, and remains focused on completing expansions of the Horizon oilsands mining project this year and next. The company turned off some unprofitable natural-gas supplies in the first quarter and reduced heavy-oil volumes as it conducted repairs at its Kirby and Primrose East projects.

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