04/30/2015 08:36 EDT | Updated 08/08/2015 01:59 EDT

Imperial Oil's Q1 profit falls 55% to $421 million due to lower oil prices

CALGARY - Imperial Oil Ltd. (TSX:IMO) says its first-quarter net income was down 55 per cent from a year ago, dropping to $421 million as a result of the global decline in oil prices.

The Calgary-based oil and gas company said that it partially offset the effect of lower crude prices with higher production, which was up about 3,000 barrels per day from last year to the equivalent of 333,000 barrels per day.

Imperial's share of production from the Kearl oilsands operation was 67,000 barrels, up significantly both from the year-earlier period when Imperial's share was 50,000 barrels and the fourth quarter of 2014.

Production at its older Cold Lake oilsands operation also increased to 152,000 barrels of bitumen per day, up from 147,000.

Even still, Imperial's earnings dropped to 50 cents per share from $1.11 per share or $946 million in last year's first quarter.