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El Paso Reports $214M Loss in 3Q

El Paso Reports $214M Loss in 3Q

Oil and natural gas prices weren't quite high enough to help El Paso Corp. overcome a significant production cut earlier this year, and the Houston-based company reported a significant third quarter loss last week. The company posted a loss of $214 million (minus 33 cents/share), compared with a profit of $24 million (4 cents) for the same period of 2003. Reported revenue for 3Q2004 was $1.43 billion, compared with $1.71 billion a year ago.

El Paso has been reconciling its financial reports for a period between 2001 and 2003 after slashing its natural gas proven reserves by 41% earlier this year (see NGI, May 31). Because of the reconciliation, it also had delayed filing its 2004 reports. According to the filing, total natural gas production in 3Q2004 was 59.2 Bcf, down from 76.6 Bcf in 3Q2003.

At the end of the third quarter, El Paso's total long-term debt was $19.6 billion, according to the filing.

In the quarterly filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, El Paso indicated that fourth quarter production is expected to average about 765 MMcfe/d, with average production for 2004 at 810 MMcfe/d. El Paso had pegged average output this year at 825-875 MMcfe/d, but said Hurricane Ivan had continued to impact production.

In its pipeline operations, El Paso said quarterly earnings fell to $268 million from $301 million in 3Q2003 because of contract modifications. Damage to offshore pipelines from Hurricane Ivan totaled $80-85 million, and El Paso carries a $2 million deductible.

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