By Tsvetana Paraskova
In a sign that the U.S. shale patch is boosting output that has been keeping a lid on oil prices, four U.S. shale companies reported second-quarter production that beat targets and increased their respective full-year output growth guidance.
EOG Resources reported on Tuesday Q2 total crude oil volumes rising 25 percent to 334,700 barrels of oil per day, setting a company oil production record. The company raised its full-year 2017 U.S. crude oil growth target to 20 percent from 18 percent and total company production growth target to seven percent from five percent, keeping capital spending plans intact. "EOG can continue to grow at strong rates within cash flow," Chairman and CEO Bill Thomas said.
Devon Energy beat its midpoint guidance with Q2 net production averaging 536,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day, and said that it was on track to achieve its full-year 2017 production targets. The company cut full-year capital outlook by US$100 million, citing "strong capital efficiencies" and saying it is keeping planned drilling activity for the year.
Diamondback Energy reported Q2 2017 production 25 percent higher than in Q1 2017, and raised full-year production guidance by 5 percent.
Newfield Exploration Company also beat its production targets and increased the mid-point of its full-year 2017 domestic production outlook. Newfield Exploration now estimates that its year-over-year domestic production growth, adjusted for prior-year asset sales, will be around 8 percent.
"In the best parts of the basins, shale is here to stay," Rob Thummel, managing director at Leawood, Kansas-based Tortoise Capital Advisors LLC, told Bloomberg, commenting on the shale drillers' Q2 updates and guidance.
U.S. drillers expect to continue raising production this year, but some are adjusting spending to the expected cash flows in the current oil price environment, after prices failed to rise as much as analysts and investors had expected a few months ago.
"$50 a barrel is still a pretty critical number and that number is going to be even more critical as we move into next year," Tortoise Capital Advisors' Thummel told Bloomberg, noting that the lower oil prices could mean that companies would not hedge production as much as they would at higher prices to protect future output.
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