Continental Bakken Spending Tops $1 Billion
With total third quarter 2018 production up 14% to 186,934 BOPD, Continental Resources will spend $1.063 billion this year in the Bakken, as it plans completing 166 gross wells while running six drilling rigs.
The company estimates it will be able to reduce its debt this year by $5 billion, based on free cash flow ranging between $500 million and $600 million.
“In 2019, Continental will deliver enhanced capital efficiency with greater oil-weighted production growth coupled with a lower capital spend,” said chairman and CEO Harold Hamm. “The high quality of our assets and operations will drive sustainable free cash flow generation, debt reduction, and industry-leading returns.”
Capital allocation to the Bakken is lower than 2018 because of a lower rig count and the timing of drilling large pads later in the year, where completion spend is not expected to occur until 2020.
The non-D&C capital is planned to be primarily focused on leasehold, mineral acquisitions, workovers, and facilities.
Using four completion crews, Continental expects to have a normal working backlog of approximately 115 gross operated Bakken wells in progress in various stages of completion, of which 45 gross wells are projected to be completed but waiting on first sales.
In the third quarter of 2018, crude oil sales averaged $65.56 a barrel; $3.10 per mmBTU of natural gas.