Higher US production, oil prices boost Occidental

Occidental Petroleum hikes 3Q profit on more production, higher prices for US oil and gas

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Occidental Petroleum Corp. said Tuesday that third-quarter profit rose 14.5 percent to $1.58 billion on an uptick in domestic oil and natural gas production and higher U.S. prices.

U.S. production was the equivalent of 476,000 barrels of oil per day, up 7,000 barrels per day from a year ago and also higher than during the second quarter of this year.

The domestic increase offset lower production in the Middle East and North Africa. The company's worldwide production averaged 767,000 barrels per day, nearly unchanged from 766,000 a year ago.

Occidental was helped by higher prices for U.S. crude oil and natural gas. Its average worldwide price for crude rose nearly 8 percent to $103.95 per barrel, but it got $104.30 for U.S. crude, an increase of more than 13 percent. It was paid 32 percent more for its U.S. natural gas.

The company said it reduced drilling costs by 22 percent in the past year.

Net income was $1.96 per share, compared with year-ago profit of $1.38 billion, or $1.69 per share. Revenue rose 8 percent to $6.45 billion.

Analysts expected the company to earn $1.90 per share on revenue of $6.29 billion, according to a FactSet survey.

The shares have gained 27 percent this year. On Monday, they closed at $97.54.

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