January 11, 2012 / 1:57 PM / in 6 years

UPDATE 1-Crew Energy cuts 2012 capex, ups output forecast

Jan 11 (Reuters) - Canadian oil and natural gas producer Crew Energy Inc set its 2012 capital expenditure budget about 14 percent lower than last year to focus more on oil and liquids production.

The company, which operates mainly in central Alberta and northeast British Columbia, also raised its 2012 production forecast.

A steep drop in U.S. natural gas prices has forced many companies to invest in fields with a higher percentage of liquid content.

The company now expects to spend C$300 million ($294.51 million), down from its planned 2011 budget of C$350 million, it said in a statement.

Crew said it will concentrate on oil and liquid production at its assets in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

The company expects 2012 production to average 32,000-33,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), up 47 percent from its last year forecast.

The company said it achieved its 2011 exit production of 32,000 boepd and expects December production to average over 32,000 boepd.

Shares of the company closed at C$12.84 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

$1 = 1.0187 Canadian dollars Reporting by Arnav Das Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel

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