Whiting reports third quarter results; names new CEO

By Patrick C. Miller | October 31, 2017

Whiting Petroleum Corp. expects its production to grow by 10 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 with strong performance from wells in the Williston and DJ basins.

The company also announced that James Volker, 70, Whiting president and CEO since 2002, will retire Nov. 1. He will be succeeded by Bradley Holly, former vice president of onshore exploration and production with Andarko Petroleum Corp. Volker will remain executive chairman of the Whiting board until the end of this year.

“After more than 30 years at Whiting—including more than a decade as president and CEO—I believe that now is the right time to transfer leadership responsibilities,” Volker said. “Our company is in a strong financial position with a world-class asset base. And I am confident that Brad is the right person to lead Whiting in its next phase of growth.”

In reporting its third quarter results, Whiting’s production averaged 114,350 boepd after adjustments for the sale of its Fort Berthold Indian Reservation assets and a third-party gas processing outage in the Bakken. For the fourth quarter, the company expects a production increase of 126,000 boepd.

Whiting’s second quarter production for 2017 was 112,660 boepd. The unplanned gas plant outage constrained output from the company’s productive Koala area and reduced third-quarter production by approximately 250,000 boe.

Volker said wells in McKenzie and Williams counties of North Dakota were tracking a 1.5 million boe type curve. He noted that production from the company’s Redtail wells in the DJ Basin of Colorado showed a 78 percent increase in production over the second quarter this year.

“The company completed 58 wells in the DJ Basin/Redtail area and 29 wells in the Williston Basin,” Volker said. “This drove production growth from second quarter levels, overcoming the impact of a significant asset sale and third-party outages. Momentum from these completions underpins strong sequential projected growth of 10 percent in the fourth quarter.”

Mike Stevens, Whiting chief financial officer, said, “We remain well within all of our covenants and strongly positioned from a liquidity and debt maturity perspective.”

He reported that the company added to its hedges and is now hedged at 62 percent for the remainder of 2017 and 52 percent through 2018.

“We will consider moving this percentage in 2018 up to 60 percent or greater if oil prices remain strong,” Stevens said.