Continental Resources slows Bakken program

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Feb. 26 -- Continental Resources Inc., Enid, Okla., slashed its 2009 capital budget and reduced Bakken shale drilling in the Williston basin.

The company is also injecting carbon dioxide at a Bakken enhanced oil recovery pilot in Montana, where it completed its first Three Forks-Sanish well with poor results.

The 2009 budget is $275 million, down 69% from planned 2008 spending. Continental Resources announced a $609 million budget for 2009 last November.

The 2009 outlays include $72 million for drilling-related activity in North Dakota and $7 million in Montana, plus $36 million for land and seismic, mainly to extend Bakken leases.

The company will participate in 86 gross wells (20.2 net) in North Dakota and no new wells in Montana in 2009. North Dakota drilling will focus on the TFS formation.

Yearend 2008 Bakken reserves were 45.7 million boe, up 38% on the year, and North Dakota Bakken reserves were 17.5 million boe, up 187%.

The company is running four rigs in North Dakota and none in Montana, down from 10 and three, respectively, in early October 2008.

The Montana TFS well, Joann 1-32H, Richland County, in which Continental Resources has 89% working interest, had poor oil shows and reservoir rock quality while drilling. It averaged 60 boe/d in early production.

The huff-and-puff pilot in Elm Coulee field involves injecting in January through March followed by a 30-day soak period and then flow back.

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