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Losses for Hess Corp. continue to grow

Company during the summer said it was anticipating some form of a rebound.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Losses for Hess Corp. continue to grow
Hess Corp still showing signs of struggles even as some of its peers express hopes of a market recovery. Photo by David Gaylor/Shutterstock

NEW YORK, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- U.S.-based energy company Hess Corp. said it was focusing on spending after reporting a net loss for the quarter that was worse than last year.

Hess. Corp. reported a net loss for the quarter of $339 million, compared with a net loss of $279 million during the same period last year. Capital spending, meanwhile, was lower by 49 percent to $435 million.

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CEO John Hess said the company was focusing on growth opportunities off the coast of Africa, while working to reset its strategic priorities.

"Our company continues to take steps to maintain a strong balance sheet and materially reduce our spending," he said in a statement.

RELATED Hess: North Dakota ready once oil prices recover

Hess started the year with an agenda focused on keeping a balanced portfolio through the weakened oil sector. By July, the company said it was upbeat about the potential for growth in North Dakota, where exploration and production was showing some early signs of recovery.

In its statement for the third quarter, Hess said net production from the Bakken shale basin in North Dakota was lower year-on-year by about 5 percent because of a reduced drilling program. Speaking from the podium of an energy conference in New York last month, the CEO said the market still wasn't ripe enough for a strengthened focus on operations in North Dakota.

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Reflecting that, the company said it took a net loss from its exploration and production sector of $234 million, against a $188 million loss for third quarter 2015.

RELATED Hess reports loss, but performed better than last year

Crude oil prices dropped below $30 per barrel early this year and have since recovered to around $50 per barrel. That's been enough to give companies that service the exploration and production side of the sector, like Halliburton and Schlumberger, confidence the market has turned the corner.

Nevertheless, Hess said its selling price for crude oil during the third quarter was down 9 percent from last year.

RELATED Hess trims spending guidance

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