Shares ofNoble Energy, Inc.NBL
were trading higher by nearly 5 percent on Wednesday after the companyreleased details of its 2016 outlook in conjunction with its fourth quarter results. Looking forward to 2016, Noble Energy expects its capital expenditures to total $1.5 billion while average sales volumes for the year are projected to be approximately 390,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, representing a 10 percent increase of 2015's reported totals. Noble Energy continued that its 2016 capital program represents an approximate 50 percent reduction from its 2015 levels and investments in onshore U.S. unconventional development will represent approximately two-thirds of total spend. The company also noted that its onshore U.S. rig count will fluctuate between 3 and 4 horizontal rigs throughout the year. Noble Energy added that the remaining one-third of its capital program will be allocated to offshore development and exploration activities, mainly driven by the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, including the completion of its Gunflingt major project. David L. Stover, the Company's Chairman, President and CEO, commented, "Starting early last year, we successfully executed on our strategy to align activity levels and underlying costs with the current market outlook, while maintaining strong operating momentum. These actions enabled us to enter 2016 with line of sight on managing the business within total cash flow. Protecting our balance sheet is fundamental in this environment. Our 2016 capital program ensures financial strength and high operating capability, while building long-term value for the shareholders. Although we are not focused on accelerating near-term production growth into a challenging commodity market, our ability to maintain, and potentially even grow production, with a much reduced capital program than last year, is a testament to both our asset quality and portfolio diversity. We have tremendous optionality in how we allocate capital, and we will continue to optimize activity levels as we proceed throughout the year."
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