(Reuters) – U.S. shale producer EOG Resources Inc beat analysts’ estimates for fourth-quarter profit on Thursday, as higher output from its Bakken and Delaware shale assets offset lower prices.
The Houston-based company’s total production rose 11% to 78.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day for the quarter ended Dec. 31.
EOG Resources said it expects 2020 capital expenditure to range between $6.3 billion and $6.7 billion, and announced a 30% higher dividend of $0.375 per share.
The dividend boost comes as investors have been pressuring oil and gas companies to rein in spending and boost shareholder returns instead of embarking on costly growth projects.
EOG, which has acreage in several U.S. shale plays including the Permian basin, forecast crude oil production growth of 10% to 14% for the year.
A surge in production from the Permian has paved the way for the United States to become the world’s top crude producer, surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia
Due to lower prices, the company expects to allocate slightly less capital towards increasing oil production, compared to 2019.
On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.35 per share, beating estimates of $1.15, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Shounak Dasgupta