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    Gas slump pulls Bakken output lower for Hess


A decline in upstream activity and regular maintenance at a natural gas plant pushed gas volumes lower for the US company.

by: Daniel Graeber

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Gas slump pulls Bakken output lower for Hess

US energy company Hess said October 27 its overall production in the Bakken shale formation was down due in part to lower upstream work.

Hess reported net production from the Bakken at 148,00 barrels of oil equivalent (boe)/day, compared with 198,000 boe/d the prior-year quarter. This was primarily due to lower drilling activity, a reduction in rig counts as well as lower volumes of natural gas liquids and natural gas.

Production was curtailed further by regular maintenance at the Tioga natural gas plant and the divestment of some of its assets in the second quarter.

Hess controlled two of the 23 rigs in service in North Dakota as of October 27, according to the state oil and gas division. By comparison, Continental Resources, one of the largest Bakken operators, controlled seven.

As part of the efforts to lower its environmental footprint, Hess reduced its Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 46% and its flaring intensity by 59% last year versus the levels in 2014, more than exceeding its five-year targets of 25% and 50%, respectively.

In July, it said it was now striving to cut its GHG emissions by 44% and methane emissions intensity by 52% by 2025 versus the level in 2017.

Hess reported adjusted net income of $86mn during the third quarter, compared with a net loss of $216mn during the same period last year.

Spending on exploration and production was $498mn compared with $331mn in the prior-year quarter.

“We are well positioned to deliver strong and durable cash flow growth that will allow us to significantly increase cash returns to shareholders in the coming years through dividend increases and opportunistic share repurchases," CEO John Hess said.