Canadian Natural cuts liquids output forecast

Thu Nov 8, 2012 7:14am EST
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(Reuters) - Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote), the country's biggest independent oil and gas producer, reported a 57 percent fall in quarterly profit on weak prices, and cut its full-year forecast for crude oil and natural gas liquids output.

The company said it expects to produce between 452,000 and 460,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs) for 2012, down from its previous forecast of between 454,000 and 474,000 bbl/d.

Canadian Natural also cut its output forecast for the Horizon oil sands project in Alberta that was under maintenance for 12 days last month.

Cash flow, an indicator of the company's ability to pay for its expansion plans, fell 19 percent to C$1.43 billion, or C$1.30 per share, for the third quarter.

Canadian Natural, which has extensive oil and gas production elsewhere in Western Canada and also operates off Africa's west coast, said cash flow was hurt by lower prices for crude oil, NGLs and natural gas.

Average realized crude oil and NGLs prices before hedging, excluding synthetic crude oil prices, fell 8 percent in the quarter ended September 30.

Average realized natural gas prices, before hedging, were down 39 percent from last year, the company said.

Third-quarter net income fell to C$360 million ($361.54 million), or 33 Canadian cents per share, from C$836 million, or 76 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 8 percent to C$3.54 billion as total production rose 9 percent to 667,616 barrels of oil equivalent per day.   Continued...