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Marathon Oil beats estimates, doubles 2017 capital budget
February 16, 2017 / 12:33 AM / 7 months ago

Marathon Oil beats estimates, doubles 2017 capital budget

(Reuters) - Marathon Oil Corp, a U.S. shale exploration company, on Wednesday doubled its projected capital spending for the full year, as crude prices stabilize following a two-year rout.

The company, which reported a smaller-than-expected wider fourth-quarter loss on Wednesday, expects to spend more as it ramps up activity in Oklahoma and the Bakken Shale formation.

Oil producers are betting big on a continued rise in crude prices by buying up acreage and raising capital spending.

Marathon said it plans to spend about $2.2 billion this year, or roughly double the $1.1 billion it spent in 2016.

Industry peers Exxon Mobil, Chevron Corp and Hess Corp also boosted their capital budgets for the year.

Marathon’s net loss widened to $1.37 billion, or $1.62 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $793 million, or $1.17 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company posted a loss of 10 cents per share, lower than analysts’ average estimate for a loss of 15 cents.

Revenue fell 5.8 percent to $1.39 billion, above the Street’s estimate of $1.19 billion.

Marathon shares ended down 0.67 percent at $16.30 in regular Thursday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru, editing by G Crosse

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