Oil Producer Hess Tops Profit Estimates on Higher Bakken, Guyana Output

(Reuters) — U.S. oil and gas firm Hess beat Wall Street estimates for fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday, helped by higher production in its Bakken shale and Guyana operations.

Hess Bakken plant (Image Courtesy of Hess/Ira Hubel)

Hess has agreed to be acquired by Chevron for $53 billion in an all-stock deal that would give the No. 2 U.S. oil producer a 30% stake in burgeoning discoveries off the coast of Guyana.

The better-than-expected results reflect fourth-quarter production that rose 11% over a year ago to 418,000 barrels of oil and gas per day (boepd).

Its production from Guyana jumped about 10% to 128,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd)and net production from its Bakken shale operation in North Dakota climbing 23% to 194,000 boepd. A consortium consisting of Exxon Mobil, Hess and China's CNOOC Ltd. operates the offshore production in Guyana.

Hess said the consortium's third project in Guyana, called Payara, stated production in November and this month reached its full, 220,000 bpd capacity.

Shares of the company were largely flat at $143.80 in premarket trading.

Net income fell 16% to $413 million, in the fourth quarter to Dec 31 compared to a year ago due to lower prices for its natural gas and natural gas liquids as well as higher costs.

The quarter also included charged of $52 million each to write-off a U.S. offshore exploration well and to settle lawsuit costs involving a Caribbean refinery it formerly owned.

Adjusted profit of $1.63 per share beat estimates of $1.44 per share, according to LSEG data.

Its pending sale to Chevron, which is expected to close in first half of 2024.

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