Houston-based Magnolia Oil & Gas Corp. is raising its full-year 2018 production guidance to 53,000 boe/d from its previous 50,000 boe/d estimate, as a result of its strong results in South Texas, management said Tuesday.

The Eagle Ford Shale pure-play independent said it expects fourth quarter total production to average about 59,000 boe/d. The company reported third quarter 2018 total average daily production volumes were 55,200 boe/d, compared with 33,500 boe/d for 3Q2017.

The Karnes County assets produced an average of 41,400 boe/d in the quarter, representing an increase of 69% year/year, while production from the Giddings field assets averaged 13,800 boe/d, nearly doubling production from a year ago, management said.

Further sequential growth is expected in the Giddings field as additional wells are completed and brought online, with fourth quarter volumes estimated at around 17,000 boe/d. The company plans to add a second rig in Giddings “in the early part of 2019 to further appraise and delineate its sizable acreage,” management said.

“The South Texas oil and gas properties that we acquired from EnerVest performed exceptionally well during Magnolia’s first period of ownership, providing better-than-expected results across both the Karnes County and Giddings field assets,” CEO Steve Chazen said.

Chazen, former CEO of Occidental Petroleum Corp., was the head of TGP Pace Energy Holdings Corp. when it clinched a partnership earlier this year with EnerVest Ltd. to form the South Texas pure-play.

“Our strategy and business model was to establish a company whose basic characteristics would appeal to generalist investors — this includes generating real earnings from the start, achieving high full-cycle and pretax operating margins, spending within 60% of our gross cash flow drilling wells in order to achieve moderate growth of 10-15% per year, and finally, maintaining a strong balance sheet with low leverage,” Chazen said.

During the third quarter, Magnolia completed its acquisition of substantially all the South Texas assets of Harvest Oil & Gas Corp. for $133.3 million. The transaction added about 114,000 net acres to its Giddings field position and 15 net undrilled locations to its core Karnes County inventory.

Looking ahead to 2019, Magnolia management expects its drilling and completion capital expenditures to be around half of its costs. It also indicated it “continues to evaluate several small bolt-on asset acquisition opportunities that fit our business model and are accretive to the value of our stock.”

During the third quarter, the company received an average realized oil price of $72.55/bbl, or 105% of the average West Texas Intermediate benchmark price during the period.

Magnolia, which had been privately held before the EnerVest acquisition closed on July 31, reported earnings of $6.7 million for the two-month period ending Sept. 30 and $46.7 million in the July predecessor period.