Hess posts wider-than-expected third quarter loss, cuts annual production forecast

(Reuters) – U.S. oil and gas producer Hess Corp HES.N reported a wider-than-expected loss on Wednesday and slightly lowered its full year production forecast, as its operations were affected by hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and lower production in South East Asia.

The company also cut its exploration and production budget for the year to $1.8 billion from its original estimate of $1.9 billion.

The oil producer’s shares fell 2.8% to $36.37 in premarket trading.

Hess and its peers have this year lowered production as part of larger cost cutting moves in the hopes of keeping their expenses in check as they try to cope with record plunges in crude prices due to the pandemic through March and April.

Brent LCOc1 was trading at $39.58 per barrel and is down about 40% this year.

The New York-based company said its total production, excluding Libya, rose 10.7% to 321,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day, partly due to contribution from the Liza field in Guyana which came online in December 2019.

Average selling price for the company’s crude oil fell to $36.17 per barrel.

Excluding items, the company reported a loss of 71 cents per share, wider than analysts’ average estimate of 67 cents per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Hess said it now expects 2020 production, excluding Libya, to total around 325,000 BOE per day, compared with its earlier estimate of 330,000 BOE per day.

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