UPDATE 1-Husky Energy profit halves as U.S. margins fall, output slips

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Oct 24 (Reuters) - Husky Energy Inc reported a 50% drop in quarterly profit on Thursday, as the integrated oil and gas company was hurt a drop in U.S. refining margins and lower crude oil prices.

The company has struggled as a shortage of heavy crude has prevented U.S.-based refiners from taking advantage of stronger margins, while mandatory curbs in the Canadian province of Alberta have hit production.

Husky said average realized U.S. refining and marketing margins were $12.17 per barrel in the third quarter, compared with $17.52 a year ago.

Production at the Calgary based Husky fell marginally to 294,800 barrels of oil equivalents a day (boepd).

Net earnings fell to C$273 million ($208.76 million), or 26 Canadian cents per share, in the three months ended Sept. 30, from C$545 million, or 53 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

($1 = 1.3077 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)