March 8, 2012 / 1:58 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-Celtic Exploration 4th-qtr loss widens, cuts output view

March 8 (Reuters) - Celtic Exploration Ltd posted a bigger fourth-quarter loss hurt by higher costs and the Canadian oil and gas explorer cut its 2012 production forecast.

The company also slashed its 2012 capital budget by 15 percent and said it will focus on increasing oil production by 5 percent by year-end, as natural gas prices remain depressed.

Celtic expects its 2012 production outlook to average between 26,000 and 26,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), down from its earlier view of 29,000 to 29,500 boe/d.

October-December loss widened to C$31 million, or 30 Canadian cents a share, from C$1.3 million, or 1 Canadian cent a share, a year-ago.

Revenue, before royalties, rose 15 percent to C$61 million.

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