February 9, 2017 / 12:48 PM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-Occidental Petroleum loss bigger than expected due to higher costs

2 Min Read

(Adds details, estimates)

Feb 9 (Reuters) - Oil and gas producer Occidental Petroleum Corp reported a larger-than-expected quarterly loss as a rise in oil prices failed to offset higher costs, and the company said it expected to spend less this year than it had orginally estimated.

The company said it expects to spend $3.0 billion to $3.6 billion this year, lower than a preliminary estimate of $3.3 billion to $3.8 billion it gave in November.

Occidental spent under $3 billion last year.

Global oil prices have rallied, thanks in part to OPEC's decision to cut supply, prompting oil and gas producers to ramp up spending.

Occidental's total cash operating costs rose nearly 19 percent per barrel of oil equivalent (boe) in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

However, operating costs per boe in Texas' Permian Basin - the focus of Occidental's oil and gas operations - fell 25 percent.

General, administrative and other expenses shot up 38 percent per boe, while exploration expenses rose 31 percent.

Total production fell to 607,000 boe per day, on average, from 680,000, a year earlier.

Net loss attributable to shareholders narrowed to $272 million or 36 cents per share, from $5.18 billion or $6.78 per share a year earlier. (bit.ly/2lrI7sS)

The year-ago quarter included impairment and related charges of $4.9 billion.

Core loss was 13 cents per share, much steeper than the analysts' average estimate of 2 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bengaluru; Edited by Martina D'Couto and Sayantani Ghosh

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