09/18/2012 08:58 EDT | Updated 11/18/2012 05:12 EST

Suncor says it spent $1.5 billion over 12-month period to buy back common shares

CALGARY - Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU) has revealed that it spent $1.5 billion in a 12-month period to buy back more than 50 million of its common shares on public markets.

The Calgary-based oil and gas giant also says it plans a new but smaller share buyback program, which begins Sept. 20.

Under the new normal course issuer bid, Suncor will have the right but not the obligation to spend $1 billion to repurchase and cancel up to 38.4 million shares over the year ending Sept. 19, 2013.

Under the previous share buyback program, Suncor paid a weighted average price of $29.90 per share for 50,160,465 between Sept. 6, 2011 and Sept. 5, 2012.

Its shares closed Monday at $34.02 prior to the announcement. The stock was down 22 cents at $33.80 in early trading Tuesday.