(Reuters) – U.S. oil producer Hess Corp posted quarterly profit that handily beat Wall Street estimates on Wednesday, boosted by crude prices surging on the back of recovering demand and fears of a supply crunch.
Oil and gas producers globally are set to post higher revenues and profits for the last quarter, thanks to a more than 50% jump in oil prices in 2021. Brent crude prices averaged $80 per barrel in the last three months of 2021, nearly doubling from a year earlier.
The average selling price for Hess’ crude rose 56.8% to $71.04 per barrel, including hedging, while gas prices jumped 42.4% to $4.77 per thousand cubic feet (mcf).
Oil and gas net production, excluding Libya, fell to 295,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), from 309,000 boepd a year earlier.
Hess said it was on track to start production in the first quarter at its second platform in Guyana, home to one of the world’s largest oil discoveries this century and considered a growth engine for the company.
That platform is part of the Stabroek block, in which Exxon Mobil Corp has a 45% stake, while Hess Corp has 30% and China’s CNOOC Ltd holds 25%.
Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing a source, that Exxon plans to start production next month at its second oil platform in Guyana.
Hess on Tuesday forecast higher output and capital spending for exploration and production this year.
Adjusted profit came in at $265 million, or 85 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $176 million, or 58 cents per share, a year earlier.
That beat estimates for a profit per share of 74 cents, according to Refinitv IBES.
(Reporting by Arathy Somasekhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)