Oil report

EQT Corp to take up to $1.8 bln charge as U.S. gas prices at two-decade lows

Jan 13 (Reuters) - U.S. natural gas producer EQT Corp said on Monday it would take a non-cash impairment charge of up to $1.8 billion in its fourth quarter, as it writes down the value of some assets due to lower commodity prices, sending shares down 6%.

U.S. natural gas prices are trading at near two-decade lows due to oversupply. That forced oil major Chevron Corp to warn in December that it would have to write down up to $11 billion in the fourth quarter, mainly due to losses at its shale gas operation in Appalachia.

Smaller rival Range Resources had warned a week earlier that it expects to take a significant charge.

EQT said in a filing here it plans to cut debt by about 30%, or about $1.5 billion, by mid-2020 as oil and gas companies face investor pressure to focus more on higher returns and debt reduction by cutting back on spending.

The company said it expects to spend $50 million less in 2020 compared to its prior outlook and estimated capital expenditure to be between $1.25 billion and $1.35 billion.

It now expects net sales volumes to be between 370 billion cubic feet equivalent (bcfe) and 375 bcfe in the fourth quarter, at the high end of its prior forecast of between 355 bcfe and 375 bcfe. (Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)