Oil and natural gas producer Noble Energy Inc reported a better-than-expected profit in the second quarter, helped by a rise in production from its wells in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale field and Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg basin. While production from the Denver-Julesburg basin rose in the quarter ended June 30, Noble said the output fell below its expectations, hurt in part by downtime at a third-party processing plant and facility upgrades at over 60 wells.
Still, output from the company’s U.S. fields rose more than 50 percent in the quarter compared with a year ago. Noble’s total oil and gas production rose 14 percent to average 290,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), after adjusting for divestments. The company’s net income nearly halved to $192 million, or 52 cents per share, in the quarter due to a $187 million loss on commodity derivatives.
However, its adjusted profit of 87 cents per share beat the average analyst estimate of 79 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Noble, which operates a giant natural gas field off Israel’s Mediterranean coast, said it expects its third-quarter natural gas sales in the country to be hurt by the ongoing conflict in the region. A truce between the Jewish state and Hamas-led Islamist guerrillas has remained elusive despite intensive mediation bids.
Noble, which also has operations in deepwater Gulf of Mexico and offshore West Africa, said infrastructure capacity constraints in the DJ basin would also weigh on its production in the second half of the year. The company said it expects to produce 290,000-305,0000 boe/d in the third quarter and 310,000-330,000 boe/d in the fourth quarter. Noble’s shares closed at $74.21 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.