Continental Resources Appoints New President

Continental President & COO Jack Stark
Continental President & COO Jack Stark

Continental Resources appointed a new president and COO this week, following the reportedly unexpected resignation of Rick Bott last week.

Read more: Major Bakken Producer's President Quits - Continental Resources

The company provided few details when Bott left his position, other than he was leaving "to pursue other opportunities." Bott's replacement is Jack Stark, 59. Stark has been with Continental since 1992, and was formerly the company's Senior VP of Exploration.

Continental Stock Dips Slightly

In the midst of its leadership change, Continental also announced that it plans to increase its' portfolio-wide capital expenditures budget for 2014 to $4.55-billion ($2.85-billion in the Bakken). The reason for the increase has to do with Bakken well costs, which the company revealed this week are $10-million per well. That's more than $2-million per well, compared to the same time last year. This comes at at time when most operators in the area are reducing the well costs. According to Forbes, as a result of the higher than expected well costs, the company's stock dropped ~8% (about $5 per share) on Sept. 18th.

Continental is the largest oil producer in the Rockies,  Bakken Shale play and the SCOOP play combined. It is the second largest producer in the Bakken, behind Whiting Petroleum, which just recently acquired Kodiak Oil & Gas.

Northern Oil & Gas Repuchases Stock - Grows Bakken Production 20%

Northern Oil & Gas Bakken Acreage Map
Northern Oil & Gas Bakken Acreage Map

Northern Oil & Gas bought back more than two million shares of its common stock in the third quarter and grew production 20% over the second quarter to 13,049 boe/d.

The company participated in bringing 147 gross (12.1 net) wells to production in the third quarter and has participated in 358 gross (27.3 net) wells year-to-date. Approximately 260 gross (18.8 net) wells are in some stage of drilling or completion.

Read more from earlier in the year: Northern's Bakken Production Growth Slowed by Bad Weather

At the end of September, the company spent an average (AFE) of $9 million on each well.

October activity was also very encouraging and we are in a great position to continue to execute our business plan into 2014 and beyond.
— Michael Reger, CEO

Northern Continues Leasing Bakken Acreage

Northern Oil & Gas acquired leases on 7,357 net mineral acres during the third quarter at a cost of $10.8 million ($1,462/acre) and now controls ~187,000 net acres prospective for the Bakken and Three Forks. The company has spent a total of $22.6 million on acreage in the first nine months of the year.

Approximately 61% of the company's acreage position is held-by-production.

Hess' Bakken Production Grows by 14% & Well Costs Fall 18%

Hess' Bakken Acreage Map
Hess' Bakken Acreage Map

Hess Corp has grown Bakken production by 14% and driven well costs down 18% over the past year.

The company is producing more than 70,000 boe/d from the region and is on target to meet full-year 2013 guidance of 64,000-70,000 boe/d from the Bakken.

In the third quarter, Hess brought 50 wells to production, while spending $579 million in the play. The company has now completed 122 wells to date in 2013.

The average well was drilled and completed during the quarter at a cost of $7.8 million or 18% less than the same period in 2012.

The Bakken accounts for 19% of Hess' production and 23% of the company's reserves.

Read the full press release at

SM Energy's Bakken Production Up - Utilizing Walking Rigs

SM Energy Bakken Map
SM Energy Bakken Map

SM Energy's Bakken production was up 12% from the first quarter to average 13,700 boe/d in the second quarter of 2013.

During the quarter, the company released two traditional rigs and contracted a walking rig. SM plans to run three rigs through 2013. Almost all activity is infill drilling at this point. SM is has largely completed its exploration efforts and its efforts to hold leases with production.

Pad drilling has driven costs down 8% on the company's Gooseneck acreage to an average of $6.5 million.

SM completed 12 gross Bakken wells in the second quarter and expects to complete 40 gross wells in 2013.

Watch for results from a downspacing pilot and a lower Three Forks test in the Raven area. Other operators have also had success in the Bakken interval in the Gooseneck area. Positive results from any of those could add to the company's resource potential.

Read the company's full second quarter press release at

Enerplus Sets New Bakken Production Record In Q1

Enerplus Bakken Acreage Map
Enerplus Bakken Acreage Map

Enerplus set a new company record in the first quarter with 14,500 boe/d of Bakken production from the company's Fort Berthold assets. In total, Enerplus produced just under 20,000 boe/d from the U.S. in the first quarter.

The company plans to drill 20-25 net wells in 2013, with two-thirds targeting the Bakken and one-third targeting the Three Forks formation.

Enerplus spent approximately 45% of the $173 million it invested in the first quarter in the Bakken. A similar trend is expected the rest of the year.

The Fort Berthold region continues to be our most active development area within our portfolio.

A total of three operated and one non-operated well were drilled in the quarter. In addition, five long lateral wells, two short laterals, and one non-operated well were completed during the quarter.

Enerplus also saw costs savings of almost 10% during the quarter due to lower services and supply costs. The company initially budgeted $12.9 million for drilling, completion, and tie-in of wells in the area. By year-end, total costs should be much lower.

Read the full press release at