EOG Resources beats profit estimate as crude prices rebound

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The logo of U.S. oil and gas company EOG Resources is seen in its office in Chongqing, China December 15, 2017. REUTERS/Chen Aizhu

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May 6 (Reuters) - U.S. oil and gas producer EOG Resources Inc (EOG.N) beat analysts' estimate for first-quarter profit and declared a special dividend of $1 per share on Thursday, as COVID-19 vaccine rollouts and increased travel demand lift crude prices.

U.S. crude prices gained 23% in the first quarter after the pandemic hammered fuel demand in 2020, sparking optimism among shale producers.

EOG's average crude oil prices jumped nearly 39% to $58.02 per barrel in the quarter, from the last three months of 2020.

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However, total production fell to 778,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) from the prior quarter's 801,500 boepd, hit by the Winter Storm Uri that swept across U.S. central and southern states in mid-February.

A clutch of U.S. oil and gas producers have recently raised their dividends. Chevron Corp (CVX.N), the No.2 U.S. oil producer, has increased its quarterly payout by 5 cents to $1.34 per share, while Marathon Oil (MRO.N) raised it to 4 cents per share from 3 cents. Continental Resources Inc (CLR.N) reinstated its dividend. read more

EOG's March-quarter adjusted net income rose to $946 million, or $1.62 per share, from $411 million, or 71 cents per share, in the fourth.

Analysts had expected a profit of $1.48 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES.

On Wednesday, rivals Marathon Oil and APA Corp (APA.O) also beat first-quarter profit estimates. read more

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Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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