Whiting Petroleum Corporation Announces Second Quarter 2012 Financial and Operating Results

• Q2 2012 Production Up 26% from Q2 2011

• Q2 2012 Net Income Available to Common Shareholders of $150.6 Million or $1.27 per Diluted Share and Adjusted Net Income of $86.8 Million or $0.73 per Diluted Share

• Q2 2012 Discretionary Cash Flow Totals $310.5 Million

•Increasing 2012 Production Guidance to 20% – 23% over 2011 and Capital Budget to $1.9 Billion from $1.8 Billion

Whiting Petroleum Corporation’s (NYSE: WLL) production in the second quarter of 2012 totaled 7.34 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE), of which 86% were crude oil/natural gas liquids (NGLs). This second quarter 2012 production total equates to a daily average production rate of 80,700 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), representing a 26% increase over the second quarter 2011 average daily rate of 64,120 BOE per day. During the second quarter, Whiting replaced the approximate 4,500 BOE per day of production that was conveyed from Whiting Petroleum Corporation to Whiting USA Trust II effective March 28, 2012, through new drilling. Production would have increased 33% without the Trust II conveyance.

“We added more than 10,500 net acres to our Williston Basin acreage position in the second quarter and now hold over 712,000 net acres in the Basin. With further drilling in our new development areas and our established core properties, we expect a strong second half in 2012.”

Based on continued good results across our properties, we are increasing our 2012 production growth guidance to 20% – 23% from 17% – 22% and revising upward our capital budget to $1.9 billion from $1.8 billion.

James J. Volker, Whiting’s Chairman and CEO, commented, “Our objectives for 2012 remain intact:

We continue to execute on our active drilling program and have increased our guidance for the third time this year to a range of 20% to 23% production growth; Our plan to drill 257 gross (160 net) wells throughout our prospect areas remains unchanged. By high-grading our drilling rig fleet and using pad drilling and sliding sleeve completions, we believe we can efficiently reach our 2012 drilling goals; At current oil prices, our discretionary cash flow, recent WHZ Trust unit sale and Belfield Plant sale will substantially fund our 2012 capital budget of $1.9 billion; We continue to experience success in emerging development areas such as Big Tex and build solid acreage positions in new exploration areas at attractive prices and attractive net revenue interests.

We continue to monitor oil prices and have flexibility in our rig contracts. Of our 29 contracted rigs 13 have contracts that can be terminated without penalty by December 31, 2012 and another seven have contracts that can be terminated without penalty by December 31, 2013. Currently our plans call for the release of three rigs. One in Sanish in early September, one in Hidden Bench in late August and one in Pronghorn in late August. These are generally less efficient rigs when compared to others we have under contract. Due to the efficiency of the rigs we will retain under contract, we anticipate no reduction in the number of wells we intend to drill in 2012.

Mr. Volker continued, “We added more than 10,500 net acres to our Williston Basin acreage position in the second quarter and now hold over 712,000 net acres in the Basin. With further drilling in our new development areas and our established core properties, we expect a strong second half in 2012.”

Operations Update

Core Development Areas

Bakken and Three

Forks Development

Sanish Field. Whiting’s net production from the Sanish Field averaged 31,530 BOE per day in the second quarter of 2012, an increase of 10% from 28,790 in the first quarter of 2012.

Highlighting recent results in the Sanish field were the completions of our first two wells using pad-style completions. Both wells were drilled on the western side of the Sanish field. The S-Bar 14-7XH, a cross-unit well, was completed in the Middle Bakken flowing 1,568 BOE per day on May 21, 2012. The well’s 9,658-foot lateral was fracture stimulated in a total of 30 stages.

The adjacent 10,121-foot lateral at the S-Bar 14-7TFX was fraced in 25 stages soon after the S-Bar 14-7XH. This cross-unit well was completed in the Three Forks formation flowing 955 BOE per day on May 27, 2012.

Combined with our DWOP (Drill Wells on Paper) training, white sand and sliding sleeve completions, pad drilling is providing efficiencies for drilling and fracture stimulation that lead to an estimated savings of $2 million per well. These factors enable us to drill and complete our Williston Basin wells for approximately $7 million. Each rig now drills approximately 12 wells per year rather than 10 and allows wells to be efficiently fraced and placed on production sequentially thereby minimizing equipment moves and truck traffic. Currently 25% of our rig fleet in the Williston Basin is pad capable. We anticipate that over 50% will be pad capable by year-end 2012.

Also of note at the Sanish field was the July 5, 2012 completion of our highest-rate wing well to date. The Smith 41-12H flowed 2,974 BOE per day from the Middle Bakken. The well’s 6,996-foot lateral was fracture stimulated in a total of 22 stages.

Lewis & Clark/Pronghorn Prospects. Whiting’s net production from the Lewis & Clark/Pronghorn prospects averaged 10,275 BOE per day in the second quarter of 2012. We own 381,403 gross (261,445 net) acres in the Lewis & Clark/Pronghorn prospects.

We completed our first two wells off a pad at the Pronghorn prospect. The 3J Trust 34-8TFH was completed in the Pronghorn Sand formation flowing 2,254 BOE per day. The well’s 10,568-foot lateral was fraced in 30 stages. Whiting owns an 88% working interest and a 71% net revenue interest in the 3J Trust 34-8TFH well. The 3J Trust 24-8PH flowed 2,157 BOE per day on completion in the Pronghorn Sand. The well’s 10,001-foot lateral was fraced in 30 stages. The Company holds an 89% working interest and a 71% net revenue interest in the 3J Trust 24-8PH well. Both 3J Trust wells were tested on June 22, 2012.

Hidden Bench/Tarpon Prospects. Whiting’s net production from the Hidden Bench/Tarpon prospects averaged 2,190 BOE per day in the second quarter of 2012. We currently hold 58,124 gross (36,301 net) acres in the Hidden Bench/Tarpon prospects, which are located in McKenzie County, North Dakota. Of note at Hidden Bench is the recent completion of the Johnson 34-33H. This well was completed in the Middle Bakken formation on May 25, 2012 flowing 2,213 BOE per day. We hold a 94% working interest and a 75% net revenue interest in the well.

Missouri Breaks Prospect. In the second quarter, we acquired an additional 4,000 net undeveloped acres and now hold 89,580 gross (61,794 net) acres in the Missouri Breaks prospect, located in Richland County, Montana. To date, we have drilled and completed three wells on the western portion of our Missouri Breaks prospect. Going forward, we estimate ultimate recoveries in the 300,000 – 400,000 BOE range in this area.

Big Island Red River Play. We have identified more than 50 vertical Red River prospects at our Big Island play in Golden Valley County, North Dakota, using 3-D seismic interpretations as well as porosity anomalies. All five vertical Red River wells drilled to date at Big Island have been completed as successful oil producers. Estimated ultimate recoveries for these wells range from 200,000 BOE to 300,000 BOE. The wells have an estimated completed well cost of approximately $3.5 million.

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Author: montanaoilreport

After my first job at a newspaper -- delivering papers for the Jackson (TN) Sun, ink was in my veins. Since the 1970's I've worked in every area of the Printing and Publishing industry, with most of that time spent in the pressroom. In 2008 I moved to Montana and purchased the Sun Times of Fairfield (fairfieldsuntimes.com). In 2011 I realized that most media outlets were either ignoring, or attacking, the growing oil and gas industry in Montana, so I started the Montana Oil Report as the source of information on this important industry.

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