* Excluding Libya, output down 12 pct to 307,000 boepd
* Revenue and non-operating income up 28.4 pct to $ 1.28 bln
* Costs and expenses fall 13.3 pct to $1.58 bln
* Shares jump nearly 5 percent
(Adds details from conference call; updates stock)
April 26 Oil producer Hess Corp reported
a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Wednesday as rising
crude prices and cost cuts helped the company offset a drop in
The results reflect an increasing optimism pervading the
U.S. shale oil industry that crude prices are on the rise and
technology improvements, among other factors, should help
companies pump more for less.
"We are poised to benefit from an increase in oil prices,"
Chief Executive John Hess said on a Wednesday conference call
The company's after-tax cash flow increases by $70 million
for every $1 per barrel increase in oil prices, he said.
Shares of the New York-based company rose 4.4 percent to
$50.78 in morning trading.
Excluding output from Libya, Hess produced 307,000 barrels
of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in the first quarter ended
March 31, lower than 350,000 boepd a year ago. The drop was due
to investments cuts last year that curtailed output, a decision
it is now reversing.
Hess is boosting spending this year, planning to have six
drilling rigs in North Dakota's Bakken shale by the end of the
year, helping to boost output well into 2018. The company also
plans to bring online this year its Stampede oil project in the
U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
A more than 41 percent rise in Hess's average realized crude
oil selling price in the quarter, including the effect of
hedging, helped the company make up for the fall in production.
Oil prices began to rise late last year after a two-year
slump and have now stabilized at above $50 per barrel, as an
OPEC-led production cut and rebounding demand slowly erode a
U.S. crude prices averaged $51.78 per barrel in the
first three months of the year, up 54 percent from a year
Hess said total revenue and non-operating income rose 28.4
percent to $1.28 billion in the quarter, while total costs and
expenses fell 13.3 percent to $1.58 billion.
Lower oilfield costs have helped U.S. oil producers keep a
lid on spending and enabled them to keep drilling during the
Net loss attributable to Hess narrowed to $324 million, or
$1.07 per share, in the quarter, from $509 million, or $1.72 per
share, a year earlier.
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder in Houston and Swetha Gopinath
and Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Chizu