Continental Resources raises FY17 production view to 230,000-240,000 Boe/d
The Company now expects annual production will be in a higher range of 230,000 to 240,000 Boe per day, compared to its previous guidance of 220,000 to 230,000 Boe per day. Continental expects to exit the year with production between 260,000 and 275,000 Boe per day, compared to the previous exit-rate guidance of 250,000 to 260,000 Boe per day. Continental is also adjusting its capital expenditures for 2017 to a range between $1.75 billion and $1.95 billion. This level of capital expenditure is expected to maintain cash neutrality at WTI prices between $45 and $51 per barrel for the year. Adjustments to capital expenditures will be accomplished primarily by reducing completion crews and rigs. The rig count for the second half of the year is projected to average 18, with 14 in Oklahoma and four in Bakken. The Company has reduced its Bakken completion crew count to four and has six crews in Oklahoma. As a result, the Company expects to exit 2017 with a drilled but uncompleted inventory in the Bakken of approximately 160 gross operated wells, including approximately 35 already stimulated with first production expected in 2018, providing a strong catalyst for further oil focused production growth in 2018. Continental reduced 2017 guidance for production expense per Boe, which is now expected to be in a range of $3.50 to $3.90 per Boe for the year, down from $3.50 to $4.00 per Boe. The Company also reduced its G&A guidance for 2017, following lower G&A expense per Boe in the second quarter. Total G&A expense, which is comprised of cash and non-cash G&A expense, is expected to be $1.85 to $2.35 per Boe for 2017. Of this total, cash G&A expense is expected to be $1.35 to $1.75 per Boe for 2017, a reduction from the previous $1.50 to $2.00 per Boe. Non-cash equity compensation is expected to be $0.50 to $0.60 per Boe, a reduction from the previous $0.60 to $0.70 per Boe. Continental also reduced 2017 guidance for DD&A to $18.00 to $20.00 per Boe for the year, down approximately 7% from the previous range. Finally, the Company improved its outlook for oil price differentials, reflecting the impact of additional pipeline capacity in the Bakken and continued infrastructure improvements in Oklahoma. Average crude oil price differential for 2017 companywide is expected to be in a range of $5.50 to $6.50 per barrel of oil, $1.00 below the previous guidance of $6.50 to $7.50. The Company expects further improvements to its crude oil price differential in 2018. The Company also adjusted its outlook for natural gas price differentials, reflecting continued natural gas liquids price weakness. The differential is now expected to be a negative $0.10 to a negative $0.50 per Mcf.