Apache quarterly profit up, oil output grows

Thu Nov 7, 2013 12:14pm EST

(Reuters) - Apache Corp (APA.N) reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, helped by increased crude prices and record oil production from its wells in the Permian Basin in West Texas and the central United States.

Apache, which also has oil and gas operations in Egypt, Australia and the North Sea, has said it will invest more in high-return, lower risk exploration and production onshore North America.

Shares of Apache rose 1 percent on a day when the SIG Exploration and Production index .EPX was down more than 2 percent.

The onshore wells in the Permian Basin and others in Oklahoma and north Texas, accounted for 35 percent of the company's worldwide oil production, up from 27 percent a year earlier.

"The Permian and Central regions continue to be the company's growth engines," analysts at energy focused investment bank Simmons & Co International said in a note to clients on Thursday. The firm characterized the results as an overall solid quarter for Apache.

Profit in the third quarter rose to $300 million, or 75 cents per share, from $161 million, or 41 cents per share, in the 2012 third quarter.

Excluding items, Apache reported an adjusted profit of $2.32 per share. Analysts, on average, expected $2.15, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Apache's oil and natural gas production from the Permian Basin rose 18 percent from a year ago to 132,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), and total production averaged 784,000 boe/d in the third quarter, up about 2 percent from a year earlier.

Apache's shares rose 85 cents to $89.30 in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting By Anna Driver; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Grant McCool)

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