Continental Resources reports Q1 Bakken production increase

By Patrick C. Miller | May 27, 2015

Continental Resources Inc. production in the Bakken increased by 4 percent during the first quarter of 2015 as the company completed 66 operating and non-operating wells.

Continental reported that during the quarter, it operated an average of 13 rigs in the Bakken, down from 19 rigs at the end of 2014. Based on current market conditions, the company plans to average 10 operated rigs in the region for the remainder of 2015.

Overall, Continental said its production in the year’s first quarter increased to 206,829 barrels of oil equivalent per day. However, the company reported a net loss of $132 million (36 cents per diluted share). The adjusted net loss for the quarter was $33.8 million, or 9 cents per diluted share.

Based in Oklahoma City, Continental’s report said that non-acquisition capital expenditures during the first three months of 2015 were $57 million below budget and its cash costs per barrel of oil equivalent were 23 percent below the 2014 average. Drilling and completions cost were 15 percent lower than 2014.

“Our teams have done an outstanding job making the necessary adjustments to achieve our 2015 goals by aligning capital expenditures with cash flow by mid-year, reducing expenses across the board, and maximizing returns on every dollar we spend,” said Harold Hamm, chairman and CEO. “We’re proud of Continental’s early 2015 performance and discipline.”

Within the Bakken, Continental said that as planned, it significantly reduced its completion crew count for the quarter. Currently, it has three completion crews active, down from 10 at the end of 2014. The company plans to maintain approximately three crews throughout 2015.

The company currently has 115 gross operated Bakken wells drilled and waiting on first production, compared to 122 at year-end 2014. Continental expects to have approximately 90 gross operated Bakken wells drilled and waiting on first production at year-end 2015.

To maximize returns, Continental said its 2015 Bakken drilling program will focus on core leases in Williams, McKenzie, Mountrail and Dunn counties in North Dakota. By concentrating on the core of the play, the company is also entering the first stage of full-field development.

According to Continental, approximately 60 percent of wells in this year’s program will be drilled on 660-foot to 880-foot inter-well spacing in the Middle Bakken and Three Forks reservoirs. It plans to continue completing wells in its 2015 Bakken drilling program with 30-stage enhanced completions to maximize production rates and recoverable reserves per well.

“Looking ahead, U.S. oil production is starting to roll over, as anticipated,” Hamm said. “Given the depth and quality of our assets, Continental is well-positioned to resume growing cash flow and earnings when the oil price environment improves. We remain encouraged by the outlook for the second half of the year and for 2016.”


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