Noble Energy Inc. said Thursday the bulk of its shut-in U.S. oil and gas production would be brought back online in the coming weeks. 

Noble, whose vast U.S. portfolio extends across Texas and Colorado, said its second quarter curtailments totaled 11,000 b/d of oil. But “significant improvements in operating costs and netback pricing” will allow the company to return the majority of those volumes to sales by the end of July. 

As the Covid-19 pandemic crushed demand and commodity prices nosedived earlier this year, Noble joined its peers in announcing plans to move cautiously through the year in the Lower 48 by shutting in wells and scaling back activity. But the company has continued to build natural gas infrastructure overseas.

Noble has cut capital expenditures for 2020 three different times since March. Investments totaled $100 million during the second quarter, while general and administrative expenses were down nearly 40% year/year to $63 million. 

Despite impacts from the coronavirus, Noble also said that its Alen Gas Monetization project continues to move toward an early 2021 start-up. Natural gas from the Alen field offshore Equatorial Guinea would be processed at EG LNG’s liquefied natural gas production facility and at Alba Plant LLC’s liquefied petroleum gas processing plant. Noble said it took hege positions in the second quarter to secure LNG revenues for a portion of the expected 2021 and 2022 gas revenues.

Meanwhile, efforts to enhance export capacity from the company’s operations in Israel advanced during the quarter. Noble and its partners are preparing to commission onshore compression facilities to boost sales volumes into Egypt via the EMG pipeline. Sales volumes to Dolphinus Holdings Ltd. in Egypt from the Tamar and Leviathan field offshore Israel are expected to ramp through the rest of the month.

Noble was also awarded concessions last month on two exploration blocks offshore the Western Desert area of Egypt. Blocks 6 and 7 encompass more than 800,000 square acres. Final award of the blocks is expected later this summer. Noble would hold a 27% non-operated working interest in the position.