Oil and gas producer Hess Corp.’s adjusted loss in the fourth quarter shrank compared with the third, helped by a tight lid on costs and a recovery in crude prices from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Easing of COVID-19 related restrictions has propelled oil demand and prices, which remain stable since a late-2020 rebound from historic lows. Brent crude, which averaged at $45 per barrel in the last quarter of 2020, rose above $56 on Jan. 27.

Hess said its average realized crude oil selling price, excluding hedges, rose to $39.45 per barrel in the fourth quarter from $36.17 in the third.

Total production, excluding Libya, fell 3.7% to 309,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in the fourth quarter, down 3.7% from 321,000 boe/d in previous quarter.

Hess earlier this week forecast net production, excluding Libya, of 310,000 boe/d for this year, a dip of 5% compared with 2020 estimate, partly hit by turnaround activity at the Tioga Gas Plant in the Bakken region.

Adjusted net loss attributable to the company narrowed to $176 million, or 58 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $216 million, or 71 cents per share, in the third quarter.