Continental Resources sees 2013 output rising 30-35 percent

Mon Oct 8, 2012 5:20pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Leading Bakken oil producer Continental Resources Inc (CLR.N) set a target for production growth of 30 percent to 35 percent next year, as it laid out plans to triple both production and proved reserves over the next five years.

The 2013 production target is based on anticipated capital expenditure of $3.4 billion, which would represent a rise from its recently increased $3 billion capex budget for this year.

The company's growth plans are focused on its fields in the Bakken shale region of North Dakota and Montana, as well as Oklahoma's Anadarko Woodford basin.

"Our legacy assets in the largest oil field found in over 40 years, the Bakken, provide a large amount of comfort in the reliability of our new five-year plan," Chief Executive Harold Hamm said in a statement, ahead of an investor day the company is hosting on Tuesday.

Continental is the top leaseholder in the Bakken with nearly 1 million acres, putting it at the vanguard of an oil boom that has turned North Dakota into the second-largest oil-producing U.S. state after Texas.

Drilling costs there have escalated because of the frenetic activity and remoteness of the region, but companies are now taking a more efficient approach to sinking wells that is expected to bring costs down in the months ahead.

Continental's plans to triple production to 300,000 barrels per day by 2017 are based on the mid-point of its overall 2012 output forecast of 36 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe). Its proved reserves in mid-2012 were 610 million boe and the company aims to triple that figure as well by the end of 2017.

Continental shares, which have risen by more than 50 percent in the past year, rose 1.1 percent on Monday to close at $76.51, prior to the company statement on its outlook.

(Reporting by Braden Reddall in San Francisco; Editing by Gary Hill and Andre Grenon)

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