HOUSTON, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. shale player Noble Energy Inc. said it took a loss during the second quarter despite setting a record in terms of the amount of oil and natural gas sold.
Noble, which holds an interest in key shale basins in Texas and Colorado, said it sold a record level of oil and natural gas during the second quarter, beating its own expectations. Total sales were higher year-on-year by 43 percent and each of its core areas performed better than the same period in 2015.
"We are delivering ahead of our original expectations for the year, having enhanced both our operating capabilities and our financial strength through the first half of the year," David Stover, the company's top executive, said in a statement. "Our performance sets us up for a strong finish this year leading into 2017."
Noble sold off more than 33,000 undeveloped acres in the Denver-Julesburg basin in Colorado to Synergy Resources for $505 million, which when combined with other sales this year, brought the total proceeds to more than $775 million.
In February, as the price for crude oil hovered around $30 per barrel, the company set a 2016 spending target of about $1.5 billion, which was 50 percent lower than outlined for last year. Though oil prices are up more than 10 percent since then, Noble said spending for the second quarter was $262 million, down 70 percent year-on-year.
Noble aims to spend about $425 million in the third quarter, with 80 percent of the capital expenditures targeting shale basins in the Lower 48 U.S. states. For the rest of the year, the company said it would have two rigs operating in Colorado and two in Texas.
"Driven by continued performance improvement and capital efficiency momentum achieved within the first half of 2016, Noble Energy has raised its full-year sales volume guidance while maintaining its existing capital expenditure outlook," the company said.