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Williams sees lower second-quarter profit on weak NGL prices
(Reuters) - Oil and gas company Williams Companies Inc (WMB.N) said it expects to report a lower adjusted profit for the second quarter due to a sharp decline in natural-gas-liquids (NGL) margins.
Williams expects its second-quarter adjusted profit to be 21 cents per share. Analysts were expecting a profit of 33 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Weak natural gas prices sent most of the exploration and production industry in search of gas that contains butane, propane and ethane - natural gas liquids that can be stripped out and sold for higher prices linked to crude oil indices.
But so much had been produced that ethane is not even worth selling in some markets, erasing a profit edge oil and gas companies enjoyed for much of the past two years.
Crude oil prices also tumbled 20 percent in the second quarter, adding to pressure on NGL prices, which fell about 15 percent from the first quarter.
The company also lowered its earnings forecast for 2012 and 2013, citing less-favorable commodity prices.
It lowered the midpoint of its adjusted earnings forecast for 2012 to $1.15 from the $1.40, and for 2013 to $1.38 from $1.55.
The company will report its second-quarter results on August 1.
Williams said in a separate statement that affiliate Williams Partners (WPZ.N) will buy its 83.3 percent interest in an olefins-production facility located in Geismar, Louisiana.
(Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)
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