Devon Profit Rises, Helped by Production Boost

Independent exploration and production company Devon Energy on Wednesday said third-quarter net profit rose 4 percent, as a 10 percent increase in production helped offset lower natural gas prices.

Profit rose to $735 million, or $1.63 per share, compared with $705 million, or $1.57 per share, a year earlier.

"We've had that balance between oil and gas that's always been a hallmark of Devon," CEO Larry Nichols said. "At a time when gas prices are going through the weak part of the cycle during the fall when there's no demand, it's more than compensated by the high oil prices we're getting."

Devon also said it was canceling plans to form a publicly traded master limited partnership, citing changing market conditions.

Revenue was $2.763 billion, up from $2.499 billion a year earlier.

Oil and natural gas production from continuing operations increased 10 percent in the 2007 third quarter to 56.8 million oil-equivalent barrels (Boe).

Sales of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids were $2.3 billion in the third quarter of 2007, up 12 percent as increased production and higher realized liquids prices partially offset lower natural gas prices, Devon said.

The average realized price for natural gas fell 6 percent in the third quarter of 2007 to $5.31 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf).

Reuters contributed to this article.