Hess Reports Bigger Quarterly Loss

U.S. oil producer Hess  reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss as cost cuts helped offset the impact of lower oil prices.

Hess, like other oil producers, has slashed its capital budget and curtailed production plans after a more-than 60 percent drop in oil prices eroded profits.

The company's oil and gas production inched slightly lower to 350,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in the first quarter, from 355,000 boepd a year earlier.

Hess, which produces oil in North Dakota's Bakken Shale and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, said average realized price for crude fell 36.8 percent to $28.50 per barrel in the quarter.

Net loss attributable to Hess widened to $509 million, or $1.72 per share, in the quarter ended March 31, from $389 million, or $1.37 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected a loss of $1.83 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell about 40 percent to $993 million.

(Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Maju Samuel)