NEW YORK, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Hess Corp. said it plans to spend nearly half of its 2014 exploration and production funds on unconventional shale resources, mostly in North Dakota.
Hess announced $2.85 billion of the $5.8 billion budgeted for exploration and production during the year will be spent on exploiting shale reserves.
Greg Hill, Hess president and chief operating officer, $2.2 billion is earmarked for exploitation of North Dakota's Baken area, same as last year.
"However, as a result of lower well costs and decreased investments in infrastructure projects we plan to operate 17 rigs versus 14 last year and to bring 225 new operated wells online in 2014 compared to 168 in 2013," he said in a statement Thursday.
The North Dakota Industrial Commission's Oil and Gas Division said in its monthly production report most of the 29.1 million barrels of oil produced in November, the last full month for which data are available, came from the Bakken reserve area.
Hess said another $550 million, about 20 percent more than last year, was designated for exploration and production in the Utica shale play, one of the premier shale natural gas basins spread out over eastern U.S. states.