Bill Barrett Corp. weighing 2016 options

Shale player with a Colorado focus posted 2015 drop in spending.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Jan. 27, 2016 at 8:06 AM
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DENVER, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Bill Barrett Corp., which focuses on Colorado shale, said it was weighing its options for 2016 after reported a 9 percent decline in 2015 capital expenditures.

Bill Barrett said full-year 2015 spending was $287 billion, about 9 percent below the low end of previous estimates. President and CEO Scot Woodall said the challenges during 2015 were "numerous," though output was on the high end of corporate expectations.

"We are currently analyzing several operating scenarios for 2016," he said in a statement. "However, we expect the capital plan to be more closely aligned with cash flow as we defer certain activity."

Bill Barrett's production comes as companies working in U.S. shale cut spending on exploration and production because of the low price of crude oil. That trend is reflected in declines in the number of rigs deployed across the country, though the company said it made significant strides in drilling efficiency last year.

Full-year 2015 oil and gas production was 6.6 million barrels of oil equivalent, which was higher than it expected. The company said, however, it had no long-term drilling contracts in 2016.

"We plan to provide the details of our 2016 plan, as well as year-end 2015 reserves, in conjunction with our 2015 financial reporting in early-March," Woodall said.

Bill Barrett shares (NYSE: BBG) were up about 7.4 percent in early movements.

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