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Oasis Petroleum Exceeds Expectations in Bakken; Keeps Three Rigs Going

In the midst of a downturn in activity in the Bakken Shale, Houston-based Oasis Petroleum reported beating expectations for the third quarter, hitting 50,546 boe/d for the period, a 10% jump over the same period last year.

Late last year, Oasis outlined plans to cut capital expenditures (capex) by 44% in 2015 and slash the number of rigs deployed in its core area of the Bakken, while still intending to boost production by 5-10% (see Shale Daily, Dec. 11, 2014).

Oasis now plans to complete 80 gross operated wells this year and increased its production guidance to 49,700-50,100 boe/d, CEO Thomas Nusz said.

"Completion activity in the fourth quarter is expected to be lower than the third quarter, primarily due to operations during winter months," said Nusz, noting that the company ended 3Q2015 with 87 gross operated wells waiting for completion. "We continue to run three rigs and have now started drilling operations in our Wild Basin Project area."

Despite the continuing production increases, the impact from the low commodity prices was evident in oil/gas revenues falling sharply for the three- and nine-month periods -- dropping to $175.2 million from $344.7 million for the quarter over quarter comparison, and $563.2 million compared to $1.03 billion for the nine-month comparative periods in 2015 and last year, respectively.

"While costs are coming down, we continue to deliver strong performance with our high-intensity completions, consistent with our historical high-intensity results," Nusz said.

Other Bakken producers have continued to report increasing production while rig counts, revenues and profits have been tumbling.

A small Denver-based producer, Triangle Petroleum Corp. said in September that continuing low commodity prices caused it to release its last operated drilling rig during its most recent quarter and negatively impacted its oilfield services subsidiary. Nevertheless, the company still managed to increase production and expects to beat full-year production guidance in its Williston Basin operations this year (see Shale Daily, Sept. 10).

Oasis reported net income for 3Q2015 of $27.1 million (20 cents/share), compared to $121.5 million ($1.22) for the same period in 2014.

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