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CORRECTED-UPDATE 3-Apache sees higher 2017 budget, but output forecast disappoints (Feb. 23)
February 23, 2017 / 1:47 PM / 7 months ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 3-Apache sees higher 2017 budget, but output forecast disappoints (Feb. 23)

(In Feb. 23 story, removes reference in paragraph 11 to Chevron raising its budget for the year. Chevron had cut its budget.)

* Expects 2017 budget of $3.1 bln vs $1.9 bln last year

* Sees 2017 output of 486,000-506,000 boepd

* Adj. loss of 6 cents/shr vs est. profit of 7 cents

* Shares fall as much as 6.6 pct

Feb 23 (Reuters) - U.S. oil and gas producer Apache Corp estimated a more than 60 percent jump in capital spending for 2017, but forecast lower-than-expected production, sending its shares down as much as 6.6 percent.

Apache, which also reported a surprise loss on Thursday, said it expected to produce 486,000-506,000 barrels of oil-equivalent per day (boepd) this year.

The forecast was well below Wall Street’s expectation of 510,000 boepd, and was also lower than the 522,000 boepd the company produced in 2016.

Apache said it expected its production to decline in the first half of the year due to scheduled maintenance-related downtime in the North Sea and Canada, and the company’s decision last year to reduce spending on lower-margin North American onshore fields.

The company said on Thursday it would raise its capital budget to $3.1 billion for 2017, from $1.9 billion last year, with nearly two-thirds earmarked for the Permian Basin in Texas.

“Investors may be concerned about outspend on Permian relative to the company’s growth projections,” analysts at Cowen and Co wrote in a note.

Of Apache’s budget for the year, $500 million is expected to be spend on developing infrastructure in the so-called Alpine High field.

The company said last September that it had amassed more than 300,000 acres in the field, most of which is in Reeves County, Texas.

Apache is the latest U.S. oil producer to raise its capital spending plans for this year, encouraged by a recovery in oil prices.

U.S. crude prices have largely traded above $50 per barrel since late-November, after dipping to a low of $26.05 early last year.

Exxon Mobil Corp and Hess Corp have also boosted their capital budgets for the year.

Net loss attributable to Apache's common shareholders was $182 million, or 48 cents per share. The company had posted a loss of $4.02 billion, or $10.62 per share, a year earlier, when it incurred one-time charges of $5.9 billion. (bit.ly/2moGRY9)

Excluding items, Apache reported a loss of 6 cents per share in the latest quarter. Analysts on average had expected a profit of 7 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Houston-based company’s total revenue fell about 2 percent to $1.45 billion.

Apache’s shares were down 6 percent at $51.60 in morning trade, recovering from a more than five-month low of $51.28 hit earlier.

Oil prices were, however, up more than $1 a barrel on Thursday after U.S. data showed a surprise decline in inventories. (Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza and Shounak Dasgupta)

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