February 15, 2018 / 11:30 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Encana profit beats estimates on higher production, oil prices

(Adds details on production, background, estimates)

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Canadian oil and gas producer Encana Corp posted better-than-expected adjusted profit for the fourth quarter, helped by an increase in production and higher selling prices for oil.

The company is in the middle of a five-year plan to boost its output growth rate by focusing on four core North American basins - the Montney and Duvernay in Canada and the Eagle Ford and Permian in the United States.

Production from core assets rose 32 percent to 313,200 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in the quarter ended Dec. 31 from a year earlier.

Encana said total production rose to 335,200 (boe/d), including oil and natural gas liquids of 152,600 barrels per day (bbls/d), from 321,500 boe/d a year earlier.

Realized prices for oil increased 4.3 percent to $52.94 per barrel.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 12 cents per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of 10 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net loss narrowed to $229 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $281 million, a year earlier. (Reporting by Anirban Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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