Celtic Exploration posts wider loss on lower natural gas prices

Fri Nov 9, 2012 6:17pm EST

Nov 9 (Reuters) - Oil and gas producer Celtic Exploration Ltd, which is being acquired by Exxon Mobil Corp , reported a wider third-quarter loss due to lower natural gas prices.

Celtic's loss widened to C$8.1 million, or 8 Canadian cents per share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, from C$1.6 million, or 2 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Exxon Mobil agreed to buy Celtic for C$2.6 billion in October to raise its presence in some of Western Canada's most promising shale oil and gas regions.

Natural gas prices fell 29 percent in the July-September quarter to average $2.85 per million British thermal unit from a year earlier.

Revenue, before royalties and financial instruments, fell 11 percent to C$49.3 million.

Funds from operations fell 20 percent to C$27.7 million.

Celtic has focused on finding liquids-rich gas reserves that fetch a premium compared with dry natural gas and on acquiring lands in the most promising of Canada's shale regions.

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