Hess Q2 Profit Surges 62%

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New York-based oil company Hess said its second-quarter profit soared 62% to $607 million, or $1.78 a share, from $375 million, or $1.15 a share, a year earlier, as revenue increased 27% to $9.81 billion. Analysts were expecting a profit of $1.94 a share on revenue of $10.08 billion.

Hess (HES) pared its 2011 production outlook to 375,000-385,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day down from previous guidance of 385,000-395,000 due to lost production in Libya and harsh weather in the Bakken Shale that weighed on output there during the second quarter.

Hess said its trading business lost $23 million during the quarter and that its downstream operations suffered losses of $97 million. Average daily production during the second quarter was the equivalent of 372,000 barrels of oil per day, a decrease of 10% from a year ago, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Separately, Hess signed an agreement with Petroceltic to explore two oilfields in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. The autonomous Kurdistan region is believed to be home to bountiful oil reserves that are not counted towards Iraq's reserve total. Hess will be the primary operator of the two blocks.