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Seneca Resources Corp., the National Fuel Gas subsidiary that drills for gas and oil, said Wednesday night that current low oil prices will hurt its second-quarter earnings and will mean a bigger write-down of oil- and gas-producing properties than previously expected.

The company said that at current oil prices, the pretax write-down would be about $140 million, up from a projection five weeks ago of $25 million to $75 million. The actual write-down amount will be determined by the price of oil on March 31.

"In this current climate of rig shortages and declining prices, Seneca's second-quarter results will be below expectations," said James Beck, president.

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