Noble Energy posts 4Q profit

Noble Energy Inc. posted a $251 million fourth-quarter profit as output in the Denver-Julesburg Basin rose 15 percent over the last quarter, the oil company said Thursday.

Production in the D.J. Basin, which includes Northern Colorado, averaged 86,000 barrels of oil-equivalent per day in the fourth quarter, the company said in its earnings statement. Noble Energy’s D.J. Basin production represents 45 percent of the company’s total volumes.

Crude oil and other liquid sales increased to 51,000 barrels of oil per day, or 59 percent. Noble Energy drilled 53 wells and completed 63 wells, contributing to 200 wells drilled and 193 completed last year.

Noble Energy also said that it planned to open a natural-gas plant with capacity to process 30 million cubic feet per day. The plant is scheduled to begin operating in the second quarter of 2014.

Noble Energy’s oil and gas production will increase this year as it ramps up activity in the D.J. Basin, the company said.

Noble Energy reported 2012 net income of $1 billion vs. $453 million in 2011. Those earnings represented a gain of $5.71 per share in 2012.

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