Shale company Continental Resources raises production expectations

Aug. 8 (UPI) — U.S. shale company Continental Resources said in its second quarter report it was raising its production and spending expectations for the year.

“Continental is in an advantaged position in the current market,” Chairman and CEO Harold Hamm said in a statement released after the close of trading on Tuesday.

Continental is one of the more active producers in the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota, operating about 10 percent of all the rigs in the state. The company reported second quarter average production of 284,059 barrels of oil equivalent per day, just below guidance, but an increase of 25 percent from second quarter 2017. Of that total, 55 percent of production was oil.

Production would’ve been just above 289,000 boe per day if not for wet weather in the Bakken shale basin and voluntary restrictions to secure capacity on regional transit infrastructure. In its earnings report, the company said it was increasing its full-year production expectation by about 3 percent to an average 300,000 boe per day. By the end of the year, the company said it expects to be producing as much as 325,000 boe per day.

Most of the growth is from the Bakken shale and its interests in Oklahoma. Continental expects oil will account for as much as 60 percent of its total production.

The company turned in a banner performance for the second quarter, with adjusted net income of $287 million beating a $1.8 million loss over the same period last year. As a result, the company said it was increasing its spending guidance by 17 percent to $2.7 billion.

In the Bakken shale, the company said it plans to increase its exploration and production activity with the aim of producing new oil by the fourth quarter. Similar projections were made for Oklahoma.

That trend is expected to support total U.S. oil production, though recent federal estimates indicate slight declines in future growth.

North Dakota is the second-largest oil producer in the United States, behind Texas. Oklahoma is the fifth-largest producer and home to the delivery and pricing point for the U.S. benchmark for the price of crude oil, West Texas Intermediate.

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