UPDATE 2-Apache profit matches Street as shale production jumps

Thu Aug 1, 2013 9:24am EDT

By Ernest Scheyder
    Aug 1 (Reuters) - Apache Corp, an oil and natural
gas exploration and production company, reported a higher
quarterly profit on Thursday that matched Wall Street's
expectations, helped by a surge in shale operations.
    The company, which sold off its Gulf of Mexico shelf assets
last month, has been focusing more on onshore production and
said its North American onshore liquids production rose 42
percent to 175,000 barrels per day in the quarter.
    "We expect Apache to have an improved asset mix that will
drive more predictable production growth and strong returns, and
create additional shareholder value for years to come," Chief
Executive Steve Farris said in a statement.
    Shares in the Houston-based company rose 2.2 percent to $82
in premarket trading on Thursday.  
    For the second quarter, Apache reported net income of $1.02
billion, or $2.54 per share, compared with $337 million, or 86
cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.
    Excluding hedging losses and other one-time items, Apache
earned $2.01 per share.
    By that measure, Apache's earnings matched Wall Street's
expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.        
    Revenue rose 10 percent to $4.38 billion, besting the $4.28
billion analysts expected. 
    The company's average price for its oil inched up slightly
to $97.93 per barrel in the quarter, as did its average price
for its natural gas, to $3.87 per thousand cubic feet.   
    Separately, the company also reported seven oil and natural
gas discoveries across Egypt's Western Desert. 
    Apache is selling its Gulf of Mexico shelf assets for $3.75
billion to private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC to focus
more on its U.S. onshore assets.