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A Cenovus Energy storage facility

Rene Michaud - Bliss Photographi/EnCana Corporation

Cenovus Energy Inc. , the integrated oil company spun off last year by Encana Corp. , says it had a $172-million profit in the second quarter.

That's equivalent to 23 cents per share of net income, while revenue increased to $3.3-billion.

A year earlier, prior to becoming an independent company, Cenovus had $160-million or 21 cents per share of profit with $2.8-billion in revenue during the second quarter of 2009.

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Cenovus says it's on track to meet 2010 targets for production and cash flow.

Its Foster Creek and Christina Lake oil sands operations produced a combined 58,726 barrels per day, up 42 per cent from a year ago - partially offset by lower volumes at conventional oil, liquids and natural gas.

Operating cash flow from refinery operations fell by $202 million, with most of that attributed to the higher cost of purchasing crude oil.

Encana decided to spin off its oil production and refining assets last year into a separate company so investors would be able to better understand the value of both distinct business segments. Encana continues on as a pure-play unconventional natural gas producer.

Since the split, Cenovus has set ambitious goals for itself to develop its vast oil sands holdings in northern Alberta.

It said last month it expects to produce 300,000 barrels of bitumen per day by 2019, a fivefold increase from its current production levels.

The Calgary-based crude producer said the growth will come from expansions to its Foster Creek and Christina Lake oil sands projects, as well as future developments at Narrows Lake and Grand Rapids.

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An external evaluation by McDaniel & Associates Consultants Ltd. last month said the best estimate of Cenovus' total bitumen initially in place is 137 billion barrels. That estimate includes the resource that can't be exploited with today's technology.

Of that, 56 billion barrels is considered to be "discovered bitumen initially in place." Usually there must be at least one well drilled per section for the bitumen to be considered "discovered."

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