Noble Energy sells record amount of oil — but not at a profit

Noble Energy Center (Jerry Baker photo)
Noble Energy Center (Jerry Baker photo)

Noble Energy, a Houston oil exploration and production company big into shale drilling, on Wednesday reported that it sold record volumes of oil and gas in the second quarter this year, but that it couldn’t overcome the crash in oil prices and mounting expenses.

Noble posted a net loss of $315 million or 73 cents per share in the second quarter, almost three times the loss during the same period in 2015.

The driller reported a record year in oil and gas sales, which rose 43 percent to 427,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Its revenue also increased, by about 15 percent to $847 million in the second quarter of the year; but Noble’s expenses outpaced them, climbing by 30 percent, to $1.3 billion.

For the first half of 2016, Noble’s losses fell to $602 million, six times worse than in the first half of last year.

Noble’s chief executive, Dave Stover, said in a call with analysts that the company’s focus is operating within cash flows, improving efficiency and leveraging assets.

Stover lauded the company’s record oil and gas production, “an efficiency story that not many in our industry can match.”

“We are executing as well as I’ve seen in my 14 years with Noble,” Stover said.

Note: Noble production rose 43 percent to 427,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. A previous version of this story contained incorrect figures.