Hess Tops Wall St Profit Forecasts, Discovers More Oil Offshore Guyana

Energy producer Hess Corp. on Wednesday beat Wall Street estimates for fourth-quarter profit on higher crude prices, and said it had found more oil offshore Guyana.

Western sanctions against major energy producer Russia and the decision of producer group OPEC+ to cut output by 2 million barrels per day pushed up Brent crude  prices by about 11% to $88.63 per barrel during the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier.

The company also said it had found oil at the Fangtooth SE-1 well on the Stabroek Block, offshore Guyana.

Hess is part of a consortium, including Exxon Mobil Corp. and CNOOC, that operates in Guyana and has made more than 30 discoveries in the country’s offshore waters since 2015.  

Hess on Tuesday forecast higher Exploration & Production capital and exploratory budget of $3.7 billion for 2023, with more than 80% allocated to Guyana and North Dakota’s Bakken shale field.

The company said its average realized crude oil selling price, including hedges, rose to $76.07 per barrel in the reported quarter, from $71.04 per barrel a year earlier.

Excluding Libya, the company’s net production was 376,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in the fourth quarter, higher than the 295,000 boepd last year due to increased production in Guyana.   

The company, however, said net production in Bakken shale field in the fourth-quarter fell to 158,000 boepd, compared with 159,000 boepd last year due to unplanned shutdowns in December.  

Winter Storm Elliott last month brought subfreezing temperatures and extreme weather to about two-thirds of the United States, halting energy production.

The New York City-headquartered company reported net income  excluding items of $548 million, or $1.78 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with analysts’ estimate of $1.64 per share, according to Refinitiv data.

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