July 26, 2017 / 8:33 PM / 2 years ago

Whiting Petroleum slashes 2017 budget after quarterly loss

(Reuters) - Whiting Petroleum Corp, the largest oil producer in North Dakota’s Bakken shale region, slashed its 2017 budget by 14 percent on Wednesday, the latest company to curtail spending due to weak commodity prices.

Whiting said it would cut spending to $950 million this year from a prior estimate of $1.1 billion. Most of that will be spent in North Dakota, though some will be used in the company’s Colorado operations.

Fellow North Dakota producer Hess Corp slashed its 2017 spending earlier on Wednesday.

“One of our priorities is to maintain a strong balance sheet while delivering high returns and sustainable growth to investors,” Whiting Chief Executive Jim Volker said in a statement.

Whiting also posted its eighth consecutive quarterly loss, as production slipped.

Shares of the Denver-based company fell 4.2 percent to $5 in after-hours trading. The company’s stock had fallen, as of Wednesday’s close, about 57 percent this year to date.

Whiting posted a net loss of $66 million, or 18 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $301 million, or $1.33 per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding one-time items, Whiting lost 18 cents per share. By that measure, analyst expected a loss of 19 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Production fell 16 percent to 112,660 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Whiting plans to hold a conference call with executives to discuss quarterly results on Thursday morning.

Reporting by Ernest Scheyder

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