Burlington Resources Inc. said its second quarter production grew 10% over a year ago, while its earnings increased 36% on higher commodity prices. The Houston-based producer reported estimated earnings of $379 million (96 cents/diluted share), compared with $278 million (69 cents) in 2Q2003. Total production in the period was 2.758 Bcfe, up from 2.502 Bcfe a year earlier.

Net cash increased to $802 million from $733 million, and discretionary cash flow increased to $825 million from $596 million in 2Q2003. In addition, at the end of the second quarter, Burlington’s balance sheet included more than $1.3 billion in cash and cash equivalents, a $282 million increase during the quarter.

“As our strong quarterly performance confirms, we are making exceptional financial and operational progress, driven by our ability to increase domestic and international production during a time of extremely favorable commodity prices,” said CEO Bobby S. Shackouls.

The company’s natural gas production during the second quarter increased 1% to 1.899 Bcf/d from 1.879 Bcf/d in the prior year. Natural gas liquids (NGLs) production was 59,000 bbl/d, down from 63,100 bbl/d in 2Q2003. Crude oil production increased 107% to 84,200 bbl/d, compared with 40,700 bbl/d last year.

Natural gas volume increases were achieved in the Gulf of Mexico Madden Field with completion of gathering line repairs, as well as in Canada’s Deep Basin and Whitecourt areas, South Louisiana, the Fort Worth Basin in Texas and the CLAM properties in the North Sea. The increases were partially offset by declines in Canada’s O’Chiese and Viking-Kinsella areas, and in the East Irish Sea.

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