Noble Energy Boosts 2015 Production Forecast


May 5 (Reuters) - Oil and natural gas producer Noble Energy Inc boosted its 2015 production forecast on Tuesday, citing cost cuts and technical improvements after reporting a better-than-expected adjusted profit.

It was the latest sign from the energy industry that deep budget cuts announced in the first quarter combined with new well techniques and other technology were beginning to yield results.

Noble boosted the bottom end of its production forecast for the year, and now expects to produce 300,000 to 315,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d). Noble had forecast 295,000 to 315,000 boe/d for the year.

Noble peer Concho Resources Inc raised its annual production outlook on Monday, citing technological improvements after cutting its rig fleet.

Noble reported a net loss of $22 million, or 6 cents per share, in the first quarter, compared with a profit of $200 million, or 55 cents per share, a year earlier.

Factoring in hedging losses and one-time items, the company earned 3 cents per share. By that measure, analysts expected earnings of 2 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Production volumes rose 11 percent to 318,000 boe/d.

Shares of Houston-based Noble have gained 7.5 percent so far this year, closing Monday at $50.99.

(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder in Williston, North Dakoka and Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Jeffrey Benkoe)


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