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Diamondback Running Nine Permian Rigs, Four Completion Crews

Permian Basin volumes hit on all cylinders during the third quarter for Diamondback Energy Inc. and subsidiary Viper Energy Partners LP, the Midland, TX-based operators said.

Diamondback’s output averaged 85,000 boe/d, 73% weighted to oil, which is 10% higher than in 2Q2017.

"Diamondback continues to execute on its 2017 plan,” said CEO Travis Stice. “Cash flow has grown to the point that the company believes it can run nine rigs within cash flow and continue to grow at industry leading rates.”

Diamondback's activities primarily are in the Wolfcamp, Spraberry, Clearfork, Bone Spring and Cline formations. During the second quarter, production more than doubled year/year to 76,977 boe/d from 36,841 boe/d.

Viper’s volumes also climbed during 3Q2017, up 20% sequentially to average 12,600 boe/d, 68% oil-weighted.

Viper’s stronger than expected volumes related in part to recent acquisitions, some of which are in areas with higher natural gas production. The operator was publicly launched in 2014 as the first U.S.-listed master limited partnership whose revenue is derived only from owning mineral rights.

Diamondback now is running nine drilling rigs and four completion crews in the Permian. It recently added the fourth newbuild completion spread.

“Following the industry’s return to growth, 2017 was always going to be about execution, which Diamondback has continued to prove it can do at the highest level,” Stice said. He said the company was looking forward to the Permian evolving “from a basin focused on resource capture to a manufacturing process focused on resource execution.”

Hurricane Harvey, which impacted several Permian operators mostly because of issues with Gulf Coast processing, did not affect operations, management said.

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