July 30, 2015 / 11:39 AM / 3 years ago

Penn West Petroleum cuts 2015 budget for the second time

(Reuters) - Canadian oil producer Penn West Petroleum Ltd PWT.TO PWE.N cut its 2015 capital budget for the second time as it looks to contain costs amid a steep fall in crude oil prices.

The company also reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, helped by a 21 percent fall in total expenses.

Penn West cut its capital budget to C$575 million ($443 million) from C$625 million on Thursday, after lowering its price assumption for Canadian crude oil to C$60 from C$65. In December, it cut its full-year budget by about 26 percent.

The company said in May that it had sold or entered into deals to sell assets for about C$415 million and would use the proceeds to repay debt.

Penn West amended some of its debt covenants earlier in the year after it had trouble meeting some terms related its cash flow.

The company’s cash flow from operating activities, a measure of its ability to pay for drilling and other projects, was a negative C$67 million in the quarter ended June 30, compared with a positive C$214 million a year earlier.

Penn West said average sales price for light oil and natural gas liquids fell 39 percent to C$58.05 per barrel in the second quarter, while prices for heavy oil fell nearly 42 percent to C$46.44.

The company’s net loss was C$28 million, or 6 Canadian cents per share, in the quarter, compared with a profit of C$143 million, or 29 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding an asset gain and deferred income tax expense, the company’s loss was 13 Canadian cents per share, smaller than the average analyst estimate of 15 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Calgary, Alberta-based Penn West’s total revenue fell 43 percent to C$325 million.

Up to Wednesday’s close of C$1.72, the company’s Toronto-listed stock had fallen 29 percent this year. Its U.S.-listed stock had fallen 37 percent.

Reporting by Anet Josline Pinto in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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