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HOUSTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - U.S. shale oil producer EOG Resources Inc posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, helped by rising crude prices and lower costs.
The company, considered one of the leaders of the shale industry, raised its expectation for new wells for the year by 5 percent, part of a plan to raise its 2017 U.S. oil production by 20 percent.
Bill Thomas, EOG's chief executive, said in a statement the forecast showed the company "is an organic, exploration-driven machine."
The bullish forecast comes as peers have unveiled similarly aggressive plans for output for the rest of the year and into 2018.
EOG posted third-quarter net income of $100.5 million, or 17 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $190 million, or 35 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Excluding hedging losses and other one-time items, the company earned 19 cents per share. By that measure, analysts expected earnings of 10 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Production rose 8 percent to 55 million barrels of oil equivalent.
EOG's costs to gather and transport crude oil and natural gas dropped, as did charges for dry holes, or exploration wells drilled that are found to have no potential.
Shares fell slightly to $102.88 in after-hours trading. The stock has gained about 2 percent so far this year.
Executives plan to hold a conference call to discuss results with investors on Friday morning. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by David Gregorio and Leslie Adler)