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Continental claims top spot in Bakken play

Dec. 21, 2012 at 7:35 AM

OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- An energy company in Oklahoma said its acquisition of new areas in the Bakken play in North Dakota solidified its No. 1 position in terms of acreage.

Continental Resources, Inc., which has headquarters in Oklahoma, said it bought 119,218 net acres in the Bakken play from Samson Resources Co. for $649.3 million in cash.

"The acquisition includes production of approximately 6,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day, of which 82 percent is crude oil," Continental said in a statement.

The transaction increased the company's holdings in the Bakken formation to 1.1 million net acres, which it says means it's the No. 1 acreage holder in what it says "will prove to be the largest oil field in the nation."

The U.S. Interior Department in October approved a local request to consider a refinery to process crude oil from Bakken.

The North Dakota refinery would be the first new facility in the United States in more than 30 years. The facility could process up to 13,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

"Within the next 30 days we plan to spud the first of 10 wells in the northern region, targeting the deeper benches to confirm commercial production and appraise our down-spacing concept, so we can quickly leverage operational efficiencies with pad drilling," Continental President Rick Bott said in a statement.

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