Oil Slump Forces Continental to Adjust 2015 Drilling Efforts

Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources says its third quarter 2014 net earnings were $534 million which figured out to be $1.44 per diluted share. And the adjusted net income for the quarter came to $301 mlillion or $0.81 per diluted share. A year ago, the profit was $167 million. The earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amorization and exploration expenses came to about $948 million and that too was an increase from the $868 million in the third quarter of 2013.

“We are well positioned with a world-class asset portfolio, strong balance sheet and a track record of operational execution,” said Harold Hamm, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in a statement from the company. “In the third quarter, our teams delivered yet another solid quarter of production growth, and delineation and development in our two key assets, the Bakken and SCOOP.”

He also commented about the company’s intentions following the slump in oil prices, saying Continental will monetize nearly all of its outstanding oil hedges, “allowing us to fully participate in what we anticipate will be an oil price recovery.”

Hamm explained that while waiting for the price recovery, “we have elected to maintain our current level of activity and plan to defer adding rigs in 2015.”

That will translate to a $600 million reduction in the company’s 2015 capex budget, resulting in a revised 2015 capex budget of $4.6 billion with 23 to 29 percent production growth.

The company reported third quarter 2014 net production of 16.8 million barrels of oil equivalent or 182,335 Boe a day which is a 9 percent increase from this year’s second quarter and 29 percent more than third quarter 2013.