Tuesday, June 10, 2014

WLL A Better Buy Than CLR -- FItzsimmons

One of only a handful of analysts I trust with regard to the Bakken, Michael Fitzsimmons, posts an update on Whiting over at Seeking Alpha.

disclaimer: this is not an investment site. Do not make any investment decisions based on anything you read here or anything you think you may have read here.

Fitzsimmons says:
I admit it: I have a love/hate relationship with Whiting Petroleum. Years ago I decided to invest in the emerging Bakken shale and boiled the choice down to two companies: Whiting Petroleum and Continental Resources. At every metric I looked at, WLL looked cheap and undervalued. I bought in. Big mistake. Quarter-after-quarter CLR outperformed Whiting both operationally and financially, so did its stock. After holding on through many disappointing quarterly conference calls, I finally threw in the towel and sold WLL. The company just could not seem to grow production and EPS as fast as its #1 peer in the Bakken. Although I did make a few bucks on the transaction, the timing of my sale could not have been worse. I sold right before it became apparent that WLL's new completion technique had taken the company to another level and the stock took off. Can't win 'em all! However, today Whiting still looks undervalued as compared to Continental Resources yet the operational and financial performance gap has closed. In addition, there are some positive catalysts for Whiting that will lead to surprisingly good results in 2014.
Fitzsimmons says this about WLL's new completion technique, new coiled tubing unit conveyed frac technology at Missouri Breaks:
ignificantly, note the new completions technique test well (#4, Skov 31-28-3H in the above graphic) was physically located between previously drilled wells #2 and #3. The incremental well costs ($8.8 million or +11%) led to a 73% increase in the IP rate as compared to the open annulus with sliding sleeve completion well that served as the reference case. However, well #2 should really be the reference case (cemented liner plug-n-perf) since this is pretty much the default technique these days. That said, well #4's IP was still up 50% over well #2 while well costs were up only 9%. I expect the company may upgrade type curves in the play once these wells are online for 6-9 months and the production increases prove to be sustainable. This would lead to an increase in EURs estimates and additional reserve increases.

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