Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) on Feb. 12 reported a quarterly profit that beat analysts' estimates, helped by a surge in Permian basin production and higher realized prices for its crude.
Production from its Permian resources unit rose 57% to 250,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in the fourth quarter, boosted by its investments in the basin.
A recovery in global oil prices since the end of 2016 led to a resurgence in U.S. shale activity centered around the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico. The U.S. recently edged past Saudi Arabia and Russia, to become the world's top oil producer.
Occidental's average production was up about 13% at 700,000 boe/d. Revenue from its midstream and marketing unit also rose to about $1.3 billion from $410 million a year earlier.
U.S. crude oil prices were 7% higher on average in the fourth quarter, compared with a year earlier.
The company's adjusted profit rose to $922 million, or $1.22 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 from $313 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had estimated the company to post a profit of $1.14 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Occidental recorded impairment charges on its Qatar assets of $220 million.
Occidental is restarting some activity in the Permian Basin and Gulf of Mexico, but its focus is to "ensure that we have the liquidity to go forward so we have the ability to meet our maturities," CEO Vicki Hollub says.
EOG Resources said it started to restore curtailed production in June as oil prices recovered from their April lows, and it expects nearly all shut-in wells to begin production before the third quarter ends.
Occidental Petroleum posted its fourth straight quarterly loss on Aug. 10 as it recorded a $6.6 billion impairment charge, largely to write down the value of its properties following a crash in oil prices.