* Q4 loss C$0.03/shr
* Cuts exploration and development budget
* Credit facility increased
March 9 (Reuters) - Vero Energy Inc VRO.TO swung to a fourth-quarter loss and significantly cut its 2009 exploration and development budget due to a drop in commodity prices amid a weak economy.
The company slashed its 2009 exploration and development capital budget to C$45 million to C$50 million from C$90 million.
It also postponed the expansion of the recently-built Pine Creek compression and dehydration facility to reduce operating costs and control over-processing of gas volumes.
Vero said three, and possibly four, wells will not be brought on production until after April 1, in order to qualify for the Alberta government’s royalty incentives.
For the fourth quarter, the Calgary-based oil and gas explorer posted a net loss of C$1.1 million, or 3 Canadian cents a share, compared with a profit of C$2.8 million, or 9 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.
For 2009, the company expects average yearly production of 7,500 to 8,000 Boe/d (barrels of oil equivalent per day).
The company also entered into a banking syndicate commitment with two banks increasing its credit facility to C$115 million from C$70 million at the end of 2007.
Shares of Vero were trading up 13 Canadian cents at C$2.93 Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
$1=1.285 Canadian Dollar Reporting by Richa Dubey in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal