Oasis Petroleum Inc. reported increased production in the first quarter and saw lease operating expenses (LOE) tumble 16%, as it moves forward with plans to sell acreage in the Williston Basin and mulls adding more rigs and a dedicated hydraulic fracturing (fracking) crew in the Permian’s Delaware sub-basin.

The Houston-based company on Monday reported total production climbed 21% year/year and almost 5% sequentially to 76,819 boe/d (76.4% oil) within guidance of 75,000-77,000 boe/d. In the year-ago quarter it produced 63,192 boe/d) and output in 4Q2017 was 73,207 boe/d. The company also reported LOE fell 16% from a year ago to $6.48/boe.

Oasis completed and placed online 17 gross (11.2 net) operated wells in the quarter, including 16 gross (10.2 net) in the Williston Basin and one in the Delaware. In February, the company closed its acquisition of about 22,000 net undeveloped acres in the Delaware from Forge Energy LLC.

Oasis this year plans to complete 100-110 operated wells in the Williston and six to eightin the Delaware. CEO Thomas Nusz said the company's "completion cadence is on track, if not a little ahead," with plans to deploy a second rig in the Delaware this month.

"Completion activity in the Delaware should generally be pretty consistent throughout the next couple of quarters, with a little step up in activity in the fourth quarter, as we look to complete six to eight wells in 2018," COO Taylor Reid said during an earnings call Tuesday to discuss 1Q2018. He later added that the company plans to continue running a two-rig program in the Delaware into 2019.

"Somewhere likely in the back half” of next year, “we'll pick up the pace and add another rig, and then have the ability to complete more wells," Reid said.

When asked during the question-and-answer portion of the call if Oasis plans to deploy a dedicated frack crew in the Delaware, Reid said the company had seen "quite a bit of availability" with crews in general, but Oasis already has crews for the rest of the year.

"We're not at a point where we've got a full schedule where we can have a dedicated crew," Reid said. "We've got some spots along the way where we'll get our wells fracked.

"A good example is we're planning on fracking a well this quarter, but probably a little later this quarter. With the arrangement we've reached, we're going to get a frack crew a little earlier than we originally thought, which is right now; we're fracking today. And we think we'll see the same thing with the provider that we're working with for the balance of the year. We don't expect any problem getting the wells fracked on time."

Reid said Oasis could have a dedicated crew in the Delaware by mid-2019 or early 2020.

"We're actually looking at it right now and continuing to evaluate going forward whether it makes sense for us to bring one of our own crews into the basin," Reid said. "In that event, we'd probably just build an additional spread, but we're under evaluation and we've got really the rest of this year to make that decision."

Oasis still plans to make up to $500 million in 2018 from the sale of about 200,000 acres in the Williston's Bakken Shale.

"We've had strong interest," CFO Michael Lou said during the call, adding that a "more formal update" would be provided mid-summer. "We're going to evaluate, and we'll figure that out. It certainly could be $500 million,” either by “selling less assets or selling the same amount of assets and getting more proceeds."

Oasis raised its full-year production guidance to 81,000-84,000 boe/d from 80,000-83,000 boe/d. The company also lowered its LOE estimate for the year to $6.50-7.50/boe from the previous range of $7.00-7.50/boe.

Net income was $590,000 ($0/share) in 1Q2017, compared with $23.8 million (10 cents) in the year-ago quarter. Revenues totaled $421.2 million, compared with $285.1 million in 1Q2017.