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    Petro-Canada's Profit Jumps on Higher Oil Prices

    A 61 percent increase was seen for Canada's third-largest oil company.

    CALGARY, Alberta -- Petro-Canada’s third-quarter profit rose 61 percent, topping $990 million USD, from a year earlier on higher oil prices, which beat analysts’ estimates, Bloomberg News reported. Revenue for the company climbed 51 percent to $6.5 billion.

    Profit rose as oil prices climbed more than 57 percent during the quarter compared to the year earlier, and gas prices rose 44 percent. Oil prices averaged $118.22 a barrel in the third quarter, and have since fallen more than 50 percent from the all-time high of $147.27 on July 11, due to concerns that a global recession will slash demand for oil, the report stated.

    "The operating results were driven by higher oil and gas prices and increased refining and marketing margins,'' Mark Heim, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. in Calgary, told Bloomberg News. Heim rates the shares a "buy'' and owns an undisclosed number of them, according to the report.

    Production was a "little better than expected'' and "cash generation was a little weaker,'' Mark Gilman, an analyst at the Benchmark Co. LLC in New York, who has a "sell'' rating on the shares and doesn't own any, told Bloomberg News.

    In addition, no "major turnarounds'' are planned for the rest of 2008 at its North American natural-gas and oil-sands projects, or at the East Coast Canada and refining units, the company said today in the statement cited by Bloomberg News.

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