February 15, 2018 / 11:35 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Canada's Cenovus Energy posts jump in quarterly profit

(Adds fourth-quarter details)

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Oil producer Cenovus Energy Inc's fourth-quarter profit soared, as production nearly doubled and the Canadian company reined in expenses.

The Calgary-based company has been cutting workforce and lowering operating expenses as new chief executive, Alex Pourbaix, seeks to aggressively reduce costs and lower debt.

Cenovus said on Thursday it reduced general and administrative costs by 44 percent per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE) and oil sands operating costs by 6 percent per barrel in 2017 from 2016.

The company's net income jumped to C$620 million ($497 million), or 50 Canadian cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from C$91 million, or 11 Canadian cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Total production was 554,606 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up 96 percent, largely helped by production from its Christina Lake and Foster Creek oil sands operations in Alberta. ($1 = C$1.25) (Reporting Ahmed Farhatha in Bengaluru and Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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