Shale player Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. grew its total proved reserves by 116% last year, and the value of reserves grew 171% from the year-ago period, the Houston-based company said Tuesday. And there will be more growth like that this year if the company’s CEO is correct.

Proved reserves increased by 7.2 million boe to 13.4 million boe [51% crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGL); 44% proved developed producing] as of Dec. 31, compared to 6.2 million boe (75% crude oil and NGLs 47% proved developed producing) at Dec. 31, 2009. The company’s reserve life remained flat at approximately 23 years as of Dec. 31.

The company is active in three of the “big five” emerging shale plays in the United States.

“As we have expanded our presence in the various unconventional resource plays where we are active and begun our efforts to de-risk the large acreage positions we have assembled, our proved reserve base has and should continue to grow at an exceptional rate,” said CEO Gary C. Evans. “We have just now begun the process of booking new proved undeveloped locations in the Eagle Ford and Marcellus resource plays as our recent drilling efforts have proven successful.

“However, with only two PUDs [proved undeveloped] booked in the Marcellus and four PUDs booked in the Eagle Ford at year-end, we have plenty of room for reserve growth in years to come due to our significant land positions. We also lost over 2.3 million boe of proven reserves when we sold our 10% nonoperated position in the Cinco Terry Field during the fourth quarter, which we more than overcame with reserve additions from these unconventional resource plays.”

The present value minus 10% (PV-10) of the company’s reserves at Dec. 31 increased by $112 million, or 171%, from $65.5 million at Dec. 31, 2009 to $178 million. Under new Securities and Exchange Commission guidelines, commodity prices used in the estimates were based on the 12-month unweighted arithmetic average of the first day of the month price for the corresponding periods. For natural gas the average Henry Hub spot price of $4.37/MMBtu at Dec. 31 was up 13% from the $3.87/MMBtu at Dec. 31, 2009.

Year-end 2010 proved reserves of 13.4 million boe reflect an organic growth of 28% from drillbit extensions and discoveries over pro forma proved reserves of 11.3 million boe as of Dec. 31, 2009, when including reserves related to the acquisition of the assets of Triad Energy Corp., which occurred last February. Organic reserves growth replaced fiscal 2010 estimated production by a factor of 5.4. When including fiscal 2010’s property acquisitions, the replacement factor increased to almost 11.9 times.

Last week Magnum Hunter said its 2011 spending would be focused mainly on the oil window of the Eagle Ford Shale (see Shale Daily, Jan. 12).