OKLAHOMA CITY, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- The estimated $222 million received from the sale of shale acreage in North Dakota and Montana will help balance the books, Continental Resources said.
One of the largest leaseholders in the Bakken shale oil reserve area, Continental said it sold around 80,000 acres in western North Dakota and parts of Montana to an undisclosed buyer. Combined with two other sales of similar nature earlier this year, the company said it's taken in about $600 million.
"We plan to apply proceeds to reduce debt and strengthen our balance sheet," Chairman and CEO Harold Hamm said in a statement.
Continental took a net loss of $119 million in the second quarter, nearly double the loss reported one year ago. In January, the company said its budget would be cash-flow neutral if oil was in the $37 per barrel range for the year. WTI traded around $47 per barrel early Thursday.
Production for the company in North Dakota was down 11 percent from the previous quarter. Total production was lower than the first quarter by about 5 percent to around 219,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
In its second quarter report, the company said its production expenses were lower than it previously estimated by 11 percent thanks in part to lower costs at its operations in the Bakken oil basin and in shale reserve areas in Oklahoma, which accounted for about a quarter of its total production.
Based on that, the company said it expects to produce an average full-year production of around 215,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, an increase of 5,000 boe per day from its previous estimate.
"Our guidance for the year has not changed," Hamm said.