Shrugging off the recent sharp drop in oil prices

Oil and gas producer Hess Corp boosted its five-year production forecast on Monday, shrugging off the recent sharp drop in oil prices and touting development of shale formations and deepwater wells.

The bullish forecast - executives said production could increase by double digits through the decade - sets an ambitious target and shows the company's confidence that oil prices will rebound from their more than 25 percent drop since June.

Executives said production in North Dakota's Bakken shale formation, the jewel in the crown of the company's onshore production, is especially resilient.

"Even at current prices or below, there's still many areas for attractive investment in the Bakken," Chief Executive John Hess said at the company's annual investor day on Monday. "We're positioned well to capitalize on growth" at low oil prices.

The company expects its production to grow 6 to 10 percent each year through 2018, an uptick from its previous forecast of 5 to 8 percent growth.


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