UPDATE 1-Occidental cuts capex by 48 pct; Q4 loss bigger than expected

Thu Feb 4, 2016 7:35am EST
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(Adds Q4 details, compares results with estimates)

Feb 4 (Reuters) - Occidental Petroleum Corp said its 2016 capital budget was expected to be not more than $3 billion, nearly half its 2015 levels, and reported a bigger-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter.

However, the company expects to grow oil and gas production by 2-4 percent this year from ongoing operations due to a fall in drilling and completion costs.

Total operating costs declined by nearly $2 per barrel to $11.57 in 2015, Occidental said.

Production in the fourth quarter surged 12.6 percent to 671,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) from a year earlier, with the company's domestic production increase coming mainly from its Permian shale fields.

Occidental's net loss widened to $5.18 billion, or $6.78 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $3.41 billion, or $4.41 per share, a year earlier.

The company reported a core loss of 17 cents per share, bigger than the average analyst estimate of 12 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue more than halved to $2.84 billion.

Up to Wednesday's close of $68.13, the stock had fallen 17 percent over the past 12 months. (Reporting by Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)