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UPDATE 2-ConocoPhillips forecasts smaller-than-expected loss, to resume buybacks

(Adds details on prices, production, shares, background)

Sept 30 (Reuters) - ConocoPhillips on Wednesday forecast a smaller-than-expected quarterly adjusted loss and said it would resume buying back its shares after a historic collapse in crude prices forced the U.S. oil and gas producer to halt the program in April.

Oil companies were forced to slash dividends, halt buybacks and curtail production earlier this year as the COIVD-19 crisis hammered energy demand, sending U.S. crude futures below $0 a barrel for the first time in April.

ConocoPhillips said it plans to resume share repurchases of $1 bln in the fourth quarter.

The company estimated an adjusted loss in the range of $210 million to $260 million for the third quarter, compared with analysts’ estimates of a $243.8 million loss, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

It also forecast quarterly production between 1.05 and 1.07 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), including net curtailments of about 90,000 boepd. ConocoPhillips had reported output of 1.32 million boepd, excluding Libya, in the year-ago quarter.

The company said it had fully restored production in the lower 48 U.S. states, Alaska and Canada by the end of the third quarter.

It estimated average realized prices to be $30 to $32 per barrel of oil equivalent (boe), well below the $47.07 per boe it earned a year earlier.

Shares of the company, which is slated to post quarterly results on Oct. 29, were up 1.6% at $32.99. (Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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