Continental Resources, Inc. Announces 2014 Operating And Financial Guidance
Company Expects Production Increase of 26% to 32% in 2014
Non-Acquisition Capital Expenditures for 2014 Estimated at $4.05 Billion
Strong Cash Flow Growth Expected to Fund an Increased Percentage of 2014 Capital Expenditures Compared with 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY, Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE: CLR) expects to increase total crude oil and natural gas production in a range of 26% to 32% in 2014, based on non-acquisition capital expenditures of $4.05 billion. Continental expects average daily production in 2014 will be in a range of 170,000 to 180,000 barrels of oil equivalent (Boe) per day, with an exit rate for December 2014 of approximately 200,000 Boe per day.
Total production for 2014 is expected to be 70% crude oil, in line with the Company's mid-year 2013 results and the long-term commitment to tight oil resource plays.
Benefiting from recent reductions in well costs, Continental's 2014 budget reflects 400 net well completions (1,090 gross), with 94% located in the Company's two key operating areas, the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana and the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province (SCOOP). The 2014 well count represents a 22% increase over current budgeted completions of 329 net wells in total for 2013.
"Achieving our 2014 goals will be an excellent 'Year 2' in our five-year plan to triple production and proved reserves," said Harold G. Hamm, Continental Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We remain focused on our industry leadership in oil production growth, low well costs, and capital efficiency. We're on track to achieve our five-year growth plan while funding an increasing percentage of capital expenditures with internally generated cash flow."
Exploration drilling accounts for approximately $500 million of 2014 capital expenditures, a 16% increase over 2013's exploratory drilling budget. Exploration activity will focus primarily on continued density drilling tests in the Bakken, further testing of the lower Three Forks formation in the Bakken, and further appraisal and a density spacing test in SCOOP.
"Our exploration program is providing essential data we need to optimize spacing and transition to full-field development," said W. F. "Rick" Bott, President and Chief Operating Officer. "We are executing our growth plan with a high degree of consistency, accelerating the value of our long-term, repeatable drilling inventory. Multi-well pad drilling in the Bakken will drive additional efficiencies as we continue to expand the play geographically and vertically with the lower Three Forks benches.
"Finally, Continental's growth plan for 2014 continues the focus on capital discipline that has been a key part of our 2013 results, and the Company has set a new goal to reduce average operated Bakken completed well costs in a range of 3% to 5% by the end of 2014."
Continued Leadership in the Bakken, More Growth in SCOOP
Drilling-and-completion related activities account for $3.5 billion of the 2014 capital expenditures budget.
Continental has allocated 71% of its 2014 drilling capital expenditures budget to the Bakken play, with an average operated rig count of 21 rigs next year, one more than the current total. Next year the Company plans to operate 17 rigs in the North Dakota portion of the play, and four in Montana. The Company plans to complete or participate in completing 300 net wells (886 gross) in the Bakken in 2014.
The Company has allocated 25% of its 2014 drilling capital expenditure budget to its SCOOP operations, which has generated excellent rates of return. The Company is planning to have an average of 18 operated rigs in the play in 2014, compared with the current count of 10 operated rigs. Based on increased rig count and continued improvements in drilling efficiency, the Company expects to complete or participate in completing 74 net wells (167 gross) in SCOOP in 2014.
"Operational goals in SCOOP include improved drilling times and an increased number of extended-lateral wells," Mr. Bott said.
Activity in the play will focus on holding acreage by production and further de-risking the southern areas of the play. The Company also plans to initiate a density drilling program where it has already de-risked the play.
The following table contains Continental's operating and financial guidance for 2014:
"The key themes in 2014 are strong growth in production and proved reserves while maintaining the strength and flexibility of our balance sheet," said John Hart, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. "Standard & Poor's recent upgrade of Continental's credit rating to investment grade confirms we are on the right track, underpinning our strong growth record with financial strength and flexibility."
Updated 2013 Guidance
Continental re-affirmed its 2013 production growth rate of 38% to 40% and capital expenditures guidance of $3.6 billion. The Company has updated additional operating and financial guidance for 2013, specifically in the categories of oil price differential, production expense, depreciation, depletion and amortization (DD&A), general and administrative (G&A) expense and non-cash compensation. The following table provides updated operating and financial guidance for 2013:
Conference Call Information
Continental plans to host a conference call at 4:00 p.m. CT today, September 10, to discuss its operating goals for 2014. Those wishing to listen to the conference call may do so via the Company's website at www.CLR.com or by phone:
Date: Tuesday, September 10, 2013
A replay will be available for 30 days after the call on the Company's website or by dialing:
Replay number: (888) 286-8010
Please use the following link to pre-register for this conference call. Callers who pre-register will be given a unique PIN to gain immediate access to the call and bypass the live operator. Individuals may pre-register at any time, including up to and after the call start time. To pre-register please go to:
A new slide presentation related to 2014 operating and financial guidance will be available at the time of the call on Continental's web site at www.clr.com.
About Continental Resources
Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE: CLR), based in Oklahoma City, is focused on the exploration and production of onshore oil-prone plays and is a Top 10 independent oil producer in the United States. The Company has a long and successful history of developing its industry-leading leasehold and production in the nation's premier oil play, the Bakken of North Dakota and Montana, as well as significant positions in Oklahoma in its recently discovered SCOOP play and the Northwest Cana play. In 2013, the Company will celebrate 46 years of operation. Further information can be found at www.CLR.com
Cautionary Statement for the Purpose of the "Safe Harbor" Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements included in this press release other than statements of historical fact, including, but not limited to, statements or information concerning the Company's future operations, performance, financial condition, production and reserves, schedules, plans, timing of development, returns, budgets, costs, business strategy, objectives, and cash flow, are forward-looking statements. When used in this press release, the words "could," "may," "believe," "anticipate," "intend," "estimate," "expect," "project," "budget," "plan," "continue," "potential," "guidance," "strategy," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain such identifying words. Forward-looking statements are based on the Company's current expectations and assumptions about future events and currently available information as to the outcome and timing of future events. Although the Company believes the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable and based on reasonable assumptions, no assurance can be given that such expectations will be correct or achieved or that the assumptions are accurate. When considering forward-looking statements, readers should keep in mind the risk factors and other cautionary statements described under Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors included in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, registration statements and other reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), and other announcements the Company makes from time to time.
The Company cautions readers these forward-looking statements are subject to all of the risks and uncertainties, most of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the Company's control, incident to the exploration for, and development, production, and sale of, crude oil and natural gas. These risks include, but are not limited to, commodity price volatility, inflation, lack of availability of drilling and production equipment and services, environmental risks, drilling and other operating risks, regulatory changes, the uncertainty inherent in estimating crude oil and natural gas reserves and in projecting future rates of production, cash flows and access to capital, the timing of development expenditures, and the other risks described under Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, registration statements and other reports filed from time to time with the SEC, and other announcements the Company makes from time to time.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Should one or more of the risks or uncertainties described in this press release occur, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, the Company's actual results and plans could differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. This cautionary statement should also be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that the Company, or persons acting on its behalf, may make.
Except as otherwise required by applicable law, the Company disclaims any duty to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release.
SOURCE Continental Resources