Whiting moves $500M in Bakken assets to pay down debt

By Luke Geiver | August 15, 2017

Whiting Petroleum Corp. is committed to paying down debt. The Denver-based exploration and production company announced this week plans to sell nearly 30,000 acres of Bakken/Three Forks acreage for $500 million. Net proceeds from the sale will be used to repay $500 million of its current $550 million bank debt after the deal closes on September 1.

Included in the sale to RimRock Oil & Gas Williston LLC, are 29 non-op drilling spacing units and another 17 operated spacing units. During Q2, the assets produced nearly 8,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Lease operating expenses for the properties are $12.60 per BOE. According to the company, its other operated properties in the Bakken average only $7.50 per BOE.

The assets are within the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, an area in the Williston Basin that accounts for roughly one-third of all Bakken production. “The Fort Berthold properties represent only 7 percent of Whiting’s second quarter total production,” James Volker, president and CEO of Whiting said. “The sale provides Whiting additional liquidity to develop its industry-leading properties across the Williston Basin, where the company estimates it has 4,850 future gross drilling locations.”

Earlier this month, Volker told investors that one of the company’s priorities was to maintain a strong balance sheet.