Permian Basin explorer Ring Energy Inc. said fourth quarter net production was estimated at 422,000 boe, a 76% year/year gain and a 12% sequential increase as it hones techniques within the Central Basin Platform (CBP).

December net output averaged 5,352 boe/d, up from year-ago production of 2,725 boe/d and from September 2017 production of 4,345 boe/d. Ring produced 1.402 million boe last year, a 62% increase from the 865,500 boe it produced in 2016.

“Our CBP property continues to show excellent results,” said CEO Kelly Hoffman. “The company drilled, completed and brought on line 27 wells in 2017, with 20 more wells in process. We couldn’t be more pleased as the average initial production (IP), as well as the type curve, continues to exceed our original projections.”

The Midland, TX-based explorer last spring bolted on an estimated 33,000 undeveloped acres in the CBP within Gaines County, TX. The operator, a long-time vertical explorerin the CBP, began a horizontal drilling program in 2016.

Between October and December, the independent drilled 20 horizontal wells total in the CBP’s San Andres formation. Sixteen of the wells were about one mile long, with three around three-quarters of a mile long, management said.

Ring also completed, tested and recorded IPs for 13 of the horizontals, eight of which were drilled during 3Q2017, with an average IP of about 458 boe/d. In addition, Ring as of Wednesday had 20 horizontals in varying stages of completion and testing.

Last year Ring drilled a total of 47 horizontal San Andres wells, with five measuring 1.5 miles long, 39 estimated at around one mile and three measuring three-quarters of a mile. Of the 47 wells drilled, 27 completed and tested had average IPs of 584 boe/d.

Management now is working on the capital expenditure (capex) plan for this year, Hoffman said. “Management is committed in their desire to work within existing operational cash flow while continuing to deliver exceptional annual growth,” he said. “We plan on issuing a release detailing the 2018 capex in the very near future,” and continue to seek opportunities to complement existing acreage “with a focus on the CBP and expanding that.”