Continental Resources, Inc., announced today it expects production growth of approximately 13 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared with the fourth quarter of 2011. First quarter production is expected to average approximately 85,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day compared with 75,219 boepd for the fourth quarter of 2011.By the way, this press release validates something I've written about before. I track the number of active rigs in North Dakota but that number is simply one data point. At the end of the day, it's all about production. Fewer rigs and increased production would be best for all involved.
At 85,000 Boepd, the Company's 2012 first quarter production represents a 65 percent increase over production of 51,663 Boepd in the first quarter of 2011.
"We're performing at an exceptionally high level in the Bakken of North Dakota and Montana, and in the Anadarko Woodford in Oklahoma," said Harold Hamm, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "A mild winter and early spring has helped, but the primary factor has been the combination of faster cycle times between wells and strong well results overall."
The Company noted it is operationally ahead of plan for the year while reducing its operated drilling rigs, as scheduled. Continental currently has 35 operated drilling rigs, compared with 43 rigs at year-end 2011.
The Company has 24 operated drilling rigs in the Bakken play, with 21 in North Dakota and three in Montana. Four of the Continental-operated rigs are currently drilling ECO-Pad® projects, and the Company's drilling vendors are upgrading additional rigs to make them ECO-Pad capable.
The CLR numbers really are impressive: one year ago, 1Q11, 52,000 boepd, and this quarter, 85,000 boepd. Pretty impressive. And operators like CLR are getting into a rhythm.