November 1, 2017 / 8:42 PM / in 2 months

Marathon Oil posts smaller-than-expected loss

(Reuters) - U.S. oil producer Marathon Oil Corp (MRO.N) reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Wednesday, as a rise in production and higher realized prices offset higher costs.

Hurricane Harvey tore through the U.S. Gulf Coast in August, forcing the company to shut its operations at the Eagle Ford field. Despite that the company said in October it expected average production to be at the high end of its forecast.

Total production at Marathon Oil averaged 394,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. It produced 344,000 boe/d a year earlier.

Average realized prices for crude oil and condensate in North America was $46.65 per barrel in the quarter, up from $41.35 per barrel, a year earlier.

    The company said total costs and expenses rose 34.2 percent to $1.63 billion which included an impairment charge of $201 million.

    The company’s net loss widened to $599 million, or 70 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $192 million, or 23 cents per share, a year earlier.

    Excluding items, Marathon Oil lost 8 cents per share, smaller than the loss of 13 cents per share, estimated by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

    The Houston-based company’s revenue rose to $1.25 billion from $990 million.

    Reporting by Anirban Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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