UPDATE 1-Penn West reports smaller loss on asset-sale gain

Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:29am EST

* 4th-qtr loss C$0.11/shr vs loss C$0.13/shr year earlier

* Total production 153,931 boe/d vs 168,801 boe/d

Feb 14 (Reuters) - Penn West Petroleum Ltd, a major Canadian conventional oil and gas producer, posted a smaller fourth-quarter loss, helped by gains from asset sales that more than offset lower commodity prices.

The Calgary-based company said it sold non-core assets in the quarter for about C$1.3 billion ($1.3 billion), which it used to cut debt to C$2.7 billion from C$3.2 billion a year earlier.

The net loss narrowed to C$53 million ($53 million), or 11 Canadian cents per share, from C$62 million, or 13 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Production for the quarter ended Dec. 31 fell to 153,931 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), from 168,801 boe/d.

Funds flow fell 33 percent to C$295 million, or 62 Canadian cents per share, due to lower commodity prices.

Oil prices sagged, with the price of benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude averaging $88.22 per barrel in the quarter, down 7 percent from last year.

Canadian heavy oil prices were even weaker because of inadequate pipeline capacity to export to markets. Western Canada Select heavy crude averaged $59.50 per barrel, 25 percent below the prior-year period.

Penn West's gross revenue fell 18 percent to C$799 million.

The company's stock has fallen 25 percent since mid-October when the company announced plans to sell its non-core assets. The S&P TSX energy index has fallen 3.5 percent in the same period.

Shares of the company, which has a market value of about C$5 billion, closed at C$10.45 on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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