Hess expects Bakken, Guyana to drive 12-15% oil production growth in 2022

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Workers monitor water tanks at a Hess fracking site near Williston, North Dakota November 12, 2014. Falling oil prices have yet to spoil North Dakota's party, with billions of investment dollars still flowing for new wells and pipelines, apartments and shopping centers, a tacit bet the third energy boom in the state's history is just getting started. Picture taken November 12, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS COMMODITIES ENERGY)

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HOUSTON, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Hess Corp (HES.N) estimates its net production will increase between 12% and 15% in 2022, driven by added output coming from the Bakken shale field in North Dakota and from Guyana, the company said on Wednesday.

Hess plans to pay off debt and increase its base dividend once its second production unit in Guyana is operational, executives told investors during its fourth-quarter conference call. The production vessel Liza Unity is expected to begin operations there this quarter.

A consortium with operator Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), Hess and Chinese oil company CNOOC controls all production coming from the South American country.

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The group expects to drill an additional 12 wells in the country this year, and increase output from its first production vessel to 140,000 barrels per day following optimization work planned for March.

Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing a source, that Exxon plans to start production next month at its second oil platform in Guyana. read more

Hess said it may add a fourth rig in the Bakken next year, after increasing shareholder returns, bringing oil production there to around 200,0000 barrels per day. It estimates it could sustain that production level for a decade.

Output from the Bakken and Guyana should account for 80% of the added 330,000 to 340,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day net production expected for this year, excluding Libya, the company said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Hess posted a fourth-quarter profit that handily beat Wall Street estimates, boosted by crude prices surging on the back of recovering demand and fears of a supply crunch. Adjusted profit came in at $265 million, or 85 cents per share, in the quarter. read more

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Reporting by Sabrina Valle in Houston and Liz Hampton in Denver Editing by Matthew Lewis

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