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Oil company Hess posts fourth straight loss

Despite net loss, company said it aims to produce even more this year.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Hess Corp. posts loss for the third quarter, but maintains ability to keep producing oil in a depressed market. Photo by photostock77/Shutterstock
Hess Corp. posts loss for the third quarter, but maintains ability to keep producing oil in a depressed market. Photo by photostock77/Shutterstock

NEW YORK, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- U.S.-focused oil producer Hess Corp. said it was taking a disciplined approach to its business operations after posting its fourth consecutive quarterly loss.

Hess reported a net loss of $279 million for the third quarter of the year as crude oil prices, down by about 45 percent from last year, take their toll on producers. Exploration and production operations, known as the upstream sector, accounted for the bulk of the losses in the third quarter.

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Chief Executive Officer John Hess said spending cuts were expected from the company moving forward, but the company's operational performance was robust in the weakened market.

"We are well positioned in the current low price environment and are taking a disciplined approach to preserve our financial strength, competitively advantaged capabilities and long term growth options," he said in a statement.

Crude oil prices starting falling steadily in mid-2014 as production from U.S. shale oil basins pushed markets toward the supply side. The oil market remained weak throughout much of 2015 as slow global economic growth was unable to take up some of the excess supply.

Nevertheless, Hess said its total net production in the third quarter was up 19 percent to 380,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Much of the production came from the Bakken shale reserve in North Dakota.

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Despite the consecutive declines in the depressed market, the company said it was increasing its full-year production guidance by about 2 percent to between 370,000 and 375,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

"For the fourth quarter of 2015, the Corporation forecasts production to be approximately 360,000 boe per day, with the Bakken projected to contribute between 100,000 and 105,000 boe per day," the company said.

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