News Column

Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources posts increased production, but profit falls

August 6, 2014

By Adam Wilmoth, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City

Aug. 06--Continental Resources' oil and natural gas production surged 24 percent to nearly 168,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the second quarter, the Oklahoma City company said Tuesday. Oil represents about 69 percent of the production.

Despite the boost in oil production, the Oklahoma City oil and natural gas company posted profits of almost $104 million, or 56 cents a share, in the second quarter, down from $323 million, or $1.76 a share, in the year-ago period.

Adjusting for one-time expenses, Continental earned $277 million, or $1.50 a share, up 13 percent from $246 million, or $1.33 a share in the second quarter of 2013.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, depletion, amortization and exploration expenses improved 12 percent to $868 million, up from $775 million in the year-ago quarter.

Growth on target

"Our team executed very well this quarter, evidenced by sequential quarterly production growth of 15,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day, putting us on track to achieve our annual production growth target for 2014," CEO Harold Hamm said in a statement. "Our superior asset base is gaining value each quarter from our work in density development, exploration drilling and production improvements. We are making great progress with enhanced completion and are encouraged with early results."

Continental boosted its production in both of its large fields.

Production in the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana improved to nearly 109,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up 23 percent from the second quarter of 2013.

The company said it is continuing its efforts throughout the Bakken field to determine the best well density and pattern for the field. The company last year tested drilling up to 14 horizontal wells spaced 1,320 feet apart on a two-mile section.

In May, Continental began its first test of horizontal laterals spaced 660 feet apart. Initial production rates for the 12 new wells in the company's Wahpeton unit averaged about 1,015 barrels of oil per day.

"It is too early to estimate recoveries at the Wahpeton pilot; however, we are encouraged by the early performance and potential for 660-foot inter-well spacing," Continental President Rick Bott said in a statement.

Continental also said Tuesday that net production in the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province jumped to more than 34,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up 95 percent from the second quarter of 2013. The company's leasehold in the area increased by 35,000 net acres during the second quarter to reach about 460,000 net acres.

Continental has begun its first density pilot in the SCOOP with 10 wells drilled at its Poteet unit in northeast Stephens County.

Continental's reserves estimates continue to grow. The company said it now has proved reserves of 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, up 11 percent from December.


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Source: Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City)

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