Fourth-quarter results slide on weaker oil, gas prices

Collectively, a sampling of US and Canadian operators posted dismal results for the fourth quarter of 2008.In a group of 48 US-based producers and refiners, 26 recorded a net loss for the quarter. The group’s full-year results show that 18 incurred a net loss for 2008.In the sample of eight companies based in Canada, two reported a quarterly loss. As a group, their combined earnings declined 49% from a year earlier.Oil and gas prices plunged during the quarter, although operating costs remained high. Some refiners experienced a sharp downturn in earnings as gasoline prices plummeted on weak demand and swelling inventories.Boosting the fourth-quarter results of some of the operators ...

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