Whiting Becomes The First Independent To Give Up On Fracing




North Dakota's largest producer, Whiting Petroleum, said Wednesday it has enacted the steepest Capex cut of any of its US peers so far in this downturn. Most of the slashed budget will be spent on shutting down its fracing and completion operations starting April 1 (Q2).

80% Capex Cut, Fracing Freeze

Denver-based Whiting's projected 2016 Capex is $500 million, down approximately 80% from its 2015 capital expenditures. The company expects to spend 88% of the total budget ($440 million) on development activity primarily in its core Bakken and Niobrara areas regions.

By the end of this year, Whiting expects an inventory of 73 drilled uncompleted wells in the Williston Basin Bakken/Three Forks play and 95 drilled uncompleted wells in the DJ Basin Niobrara play.

"This inventory of drilled uncompleted wells should afford Whiting a highly capital-efficient means to resume growth upon a rebound in oil prices," the company said.

enter image description hereSource: Whiting's 4Q15 report

Most of the 2016 budget will be spent in 1H16 as Whiting completes projects started last year and ends completion operations. In 2H16, the projected spend rate is expected to decline to $80 million per quarter.

Based on the 2016 capital budget, Whiting forecasts 2016 production of 46.8 to 50.5 MM/boe (128,000 to 138,000 boepd).

Whiting recorded a net loss in 4Q15 of $98.7 million, or 48 cents per share, versus a net loss of $353.7 million, or $2.68 per share, in the same quarter last year.

Bakken/Three Forks: 83% Of 4Q Production

Whiting holds 454,782 net acres in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana.

In 4Q15, Whiting's net production from the Bakken/Three Forks representing 83% of its total 4Q production. The company said it continued to test larger sand volume completions across its Williston Basin position.

In 4Q, Whiting completed 21 operated wells that produced for 30 or more days and had average sand volumes of 6.7 million pounds. This compares to 41 operated wells with average sand volumes of 5.2 million pounds in 3Q.

Wells completed during the quarter realized an average 30-day rate of 1,339 boepd, which was 22% better than the 3Q wells. The average estimated completed well cost for 4Q was $6.8 million.

DJ Basin: 4 Zones

Whiting holds 126,363 net acres in our Redtail field, located in the Denver Julesburg Basin in Weld County, Colorado.

The company said it has established production in four zones, the Niobrara “A”, “B” and “C” zones and the Codell/Fort Hays formations. Net production from the Redtail field averaged 14,345 boepd in 4Q15.



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