December 16, 2010 / 10:49 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-Southwestern Energy sees higher output in 2011

* Sees producing 465-475 bcfe in 2011

* Cuts capital budget by 10 percent

Dec 16 (Reuters) - Southwestern Energy Co (SWN.N) expects production in 2011 to increase 18 percent, but cut its capital investment plan for the year by 10 percent.

In 2011, the oil and gas company expects to produce 465-475 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent, up from 393-401 bcfe estimated for 2010.

Capital investment in 2011 is planned at $1.9 billion, down from $2.1 billion projected for 2010.

Barclays Capital, which estimated global oil and natural gas exploration and production spending will jump 11 percent next year, had expected companies like Southwestern, Encana (ECA.TO) and Devon Energy (DVN.N) to slash their budgets. [ID:nSGE6BE06R]

Southwestern, which is looking to monetize its midstream gathering assets, plans to invest about $170 million in various other unconventional, exploration and new ventures projects at the Marcellus shale in 2011.

The natural gas-focused company expects to spend majority of its budget on the Fayetteville shale play in Arkansas. Production of gas from shale reservoirs, which are tight and display low permeability, has exploded in recent years.

Houston-based Southwestern Energy shares closed at $35.68 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange. They have declined nearly 30 percent so far this year in line with the fall in natural gas prices. (Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan in Bangalore)

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