Imperial achieved a number of significant milestones in 2013 as we continue to focus on delivering superior, long-term shareholder value. Highest among our priorities is safety. Despite working more than 44 million hours, our second highest on record, we achieved workforce safety performance on par with 2012’s best-ever results.
Most notable among our achievements was the start-up of our Kearl oil sands mining project, the largest capital investment in the company’s history. With a large, high-quality resource and next-generation technologies, Kearl will contribute to the company’s performance for decades to come. Other Upstream investments, such as Cold Lake’s Nabiye project and the Celtic and Clyden acquisitions, will add further value in the years ahead. To support Upstream growth, steps were taken to improve market access, including starting construction of a large-scale rail loading terminal in Edmonton. Downstream businesses maximized value by increasing our refineries’ access to price advantaged western Canadian crudes, discontinuing operations at our Dartmouth refinery and strengthening coast-to-coast retail operations.
Earnings in the fourth quarter were $1,056 million, compared to $1,076 million for the same period in 2012. Fourth quarter Downstream earnings were $625 million, the highest Downstream quarter in company history. Full year earnings were $2,828 million in 2013.
Fourth quarter gross production averaged 329,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day, up from 285,000 barrels in 2012, mainly due to production from the Kearl project start-up and Celtic acquisition.
Quarterly refinery throughput averaged 387,000 barrels per day, down from 468,000 barrels in 2012, largely as a result of the closure of the Dartmouth refinery in the third quarter of 2013 and planned maintenance activities at the Nanticoke refinery.
Fourth quarter capital and exploration expenditures totalled $1,567 million. Investments were focused on Upstream growth projects, most notably Kearl’s expansion and Cold Lake’s Nabiye, which were 72 and 65 percent complete, respectively, at the end of the quarter. Quarterly investments were fully funded by cash flow from operating activities.
The strength of Imperial’s business model and our ability to adapt to dynamic market conditions served us well in 2013 and will continue to do so in the future. In 2014, Imperial’s focus on safety, operational integrity, continuous improvement and strategic growth is expected to continue to deliver industry-leading results.
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Imperial Oil is one of Canada’s largest corporations and a leading member of the country’s petroleum industry. The company is a major producer of crude oil and natural gas, Canada’s largest petroleum refiner, a key petrochemical producer and a leading marketer with coast-to-coast supply and retail service station networks.