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Shale player Continental ups production estimate

Continental Resources in a third quarter report said production was lower than last year.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Shale player Continental ups production estimate
Continental Resources boasts of record-breaker in Oklahoma and ups its year-end production estimates. Photo by Calin Tatu/Shutterstock

OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- While announcing new reserve opportunities in Oklahoma, shale player Continental Resources said it expects to end the year with more output than predicted.

Continental said it set a company record at a well in the Oklahoma STACK play at its Angus Trust well, which produced 4,642 barrels of oil equivalent per day during a 24-hour test. It lies just north of its Boden asset in Oklahoma, which produced 3,508 boe during a similar test.

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In the past year, the company said Boden produced just over a half million boe, 26 percent of which was oil.

Continental reported a net loss for the third quarter of $109.6 million, a loss that was 33 percent greater than the loss from third quarter 2015. In August, the company sold off some of its assets in and around the Bakken shale basin in North Dakota for about $600 million in a move CEO Harold Hamm said helped reduce debt and strengthen the balance sheet.

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For the third quarter, Continental said its net production was about 5 percent lower than the second quarter and 9 percent lower year-on-year. The company said it nevertheless was betting on recovery from enhanced work at the Bakken shale oil reserve basin in North Dakota, and the SCOOP and STACK reservoirs in Oklahoma.

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In its latest statement, the company said it was increasing its production estimate for the year based in part on strong performance in North Dakota and Oklahoma.

"The company now expects to exit 2016 with production in a range of 213,000 to 218,000 boe per day, compared with the previous guidance range of 205,000 to 210,000 boe per day," it declared. "The company expects to maintain approximately this production level through the first quarter of 2017."

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The 4 percent increase at the low end comes as market watchers weigh the balance between supply and demand at a time when members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are scaling back to correct an oversupply. Supply-side pressures pulled oil prices below $30 per barrel early this year.

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