Hess posts profit driven by higher crude oil production

U.S. oil and gas company Hess Corporation booked a profit for the first quarter of the year as opposed to a loss in the same period last year driven by higher production from the Gulf of Mexico, Bakken, and North Malay Basin.

Baldpate in the Gulf of Mexico; Source: Hess

Hess Corporation on Thursday reported revenues of $1.57 billion compared to $1.35 billion in the prior-year quarter.

Hess recorded a net income of $32 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to a net loss of $106 million in the first quarter of 2018.

On an adjusted basis, the first quarter 2018 net loss was $72 million.

According to the company, its first quarter 2019 results benefited from higher U.S. crude oil production, partially offset by lower realized crude oil prices and higher depreciation, depletion and amortization expenses compared with the prior-year quarter.

Chief Executive Officer, John Hess, said: “We have started the year off with strong operating performance across our portfolio in the first quarter and continued exploration success in Guyana.”

Hess’ Exploration and Production (E&P) net income was $109 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to a net loss of $25 million in the first quarter of 2018.

The company’s average realized crude oil selling price was $55.91 per barrel in the first quarter of 2019, versus $59.32 per barrel in the year-ago quarter. The average realized natural gas liquids selling price in the first quarter of 2019 was $18.46 per barrel, versus $21.11 per barrel in the prior-year quarter, while the average realized natural gas selling price was $4.43 per mcf, compared to $3.86 per mcf in the first quarter of 2018.

Net production, excluding Libya, was 278,000 boepd in the first quarter of 2019, up from 233,000 boepd in the prior-year quarter, which included 13,000 boepd from a divested asset. The higher net production volumes were driven by the Gulf of Mexico, Bakken and North Malay Basin.

E&P capital and exploratory expenditures were $542 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $384 million in the prior-year quarter, reflecting increased drilling in the Bakken and greater development activity in Guyana, partially offset by reduced development spend in the Gulf of Mexico.

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