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Noble Energy, Inc. (NBL) plans to raise its oil output by 40% in 2012 as several long-awaited projects come on-line, Chief Executive Charles Davidson said Thursday.
Drilling activity in the Niobrara basin in the mid-continental U.S., as well as output from the Galapagos project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico will greatly contribute to the ramp-up in hydrocarbon liquids, Davison said in an earnings conference call.
Noble Energy is in the midst of a major expansion, as several of its discoveries are scheduled to start production in the next few years. Davidson says that production, cash flow and reserves will grow at double-digit rates over the next five years. "2012 is certainly the year I've been waiting for," he said.
Natural gas prices, however, are leading to reduced investment in the Marcellus shale. The company has reduced its net investment in the Marcellus by $250 million, Davidson added.
The company, which has struck a series of exploration successes in the eastern Mediterranean, in December announced a new discovery off Cyprus. The company owns 70% of that project, but it remains open to selling down its stake to bring in an additional investor. "There might be opportunities to accommodate along with our partners an additional partner," Davidson said. "We are open to all options to try to accelerate value here."
- By Angel Gonzalez, Dow Jones Newswires; 713-547-9214;firstname.lastname@example.org