April 26 (Reuters) - Oil and gas producer Hess Corp (HES.N) on Wednesday topped Wall Street's first-quarter profit estimates and disclosed its consortium with Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) made a new discovery off the coast of Guyana.
The discovery on the group's Stabroek Block is the latest of more than 30 in the South American country's offshore waters since 2015. Hess holds a 30% stake in the consortium, and said the discovery may help justify a new oil project.
The group's first two producing platforms are on track to deliver up to 400,000 barrels of oil and gas per day (boepd) by year-end, up from 340,000 boepd initially planned, Hess said.
The companysaid the group sold nine cargoes of crude oil in the quarter ended March 31, compared with two in the year-ago quarter.
A separate exploration well drilled during the quarter did not encounter commercial quantities of hydrocarbons, Hess said.
Hess on Wednesday also raised its full-year production outlook by nearly 3% to between 365,000 boepd and 375,000 boepd, citing strong operations during the first three months of 2023.
Net oil and gas production rose 36% in the quarter to 374,000 boepd, primarily due to higher output in Guyana and in North Dakota's Bakken shale field.
Production from Hess' share of output in Guyana was 12% above estimates at 112,000 boepd. The company expects current quarter production of between 105,000 boepd and 110,000 boepd due to planned maintenance at the Liza phase 2 platform.
Company shares rose 3.3% to $145.77 in morning trade.
On a per share basis, the company reported a profit of $1.13 for the first quarter and an adjusted profit of $1.30. Analysts had expected a profit of $1.06 per share, according to Refinitiv data.
"Hess surprisingly hiked FY23 production guidance by 3%, a move that should be well received on the heels of core Guyana outperformance," wrote investment group TD Cowen.
Hess said its average realized crude oil selling price, excluding hedges, fell 19% to $76.02 per barrel in the quarter.
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