24 April 2014, News Wires – Net profit sank at US independent Noble Energy in the first quarter despite a rise in output.
The Houston-based player has also revised its volume guidance for the year on the back of expected asset sales being pushed through in the next few months.
Net profit for the three months to the end of March was $200 million as compared with $261 million in the comparable period a year earlier.
Revenues, however, went in the other direction, rising from $1.14 billion to $1.38 billion as crude, natural gas and natural gas liquids sales all increased.
However, total operating expenses soared from $718 million to $975 million, with depreciation rising some $59 million. Noble also booked an asset impairment of $97 million, whereas it had none to contend with this time last year.
Volumes shot up 20% to an average of 286,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, with horizontal drilling up more than 60% on the back of increased activity in the Denver-Jules basin and Marcellus shale plays.
The US accounted for 57% of total volumes, with the international portfolio chipping in 43%.
US flows were up 16% and a 23% hike in international output was driven by the Tamar gas field off Israel and the Alen condensate field in Equatorial Guinea, both of which came onstream last year.
Noble has issued revised average volume guidance for the year of between 302,000 boepd and 310,000 boepd.
This is due to an asset sale in Bohai Bay off China that is expected to close in the middle of the year, and another US onshore asset sale set to close this month.