Continental Resources Inc. is on pace to meet its goal of tripling production from 2012 to 2017, the Oklahoma City energy company said Tuesday.
Continental executives said the company's 2014 oil and natural gas production is expected to increase 26 to 32 percent from 2013 levels with a capital expenditure budget of $4.05 billion.
“Our 2014 plan year two on the five-year road map is characterized by continued strong production growth, continued capital discipline and continued achievement of key exploration milestones in the Bakken and SCOOP, as we work toward the transition to full field development of these tremendous plays,” CEO Harold Hamm said in a conference call with analysts Tuesday afternoon.
Continental's production growth efforts are centered on the Bakken formation in North Dakota and in what the company calls the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province, or SCOOP.
The company said it plans to drill 400 net wells in 2014, up from 329 in 2013.
Drilling activity in southern Oklahoma is expected to jump about 50 percent to 74 net wells, up from 55 in 2013.
Continental executives said they plan to pay for the increased drilling activity largely through increased cash flow.
“We expect our key debt metrics will remain strong and improve between now and year end 2014,” said Rick Muncrief, Continental's senior vice president of operations.
Executives said they have worked to reduce costs while increasing production.
“We're seeing significant progress in 2013 with a new lower target of $8 million per operated well in the Bakken and similar improvement in SCOOP,” Hamm said.
Continental shares jumped $4.20, or 4.2 percent, Tuesday to close at $103.53 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock price slipped $2.03 in aftermarket trading back to $101.50.