Kodiak Oil and Gas (NYSE: KOG ) recently raised $650 million to continue to fund its oil and natural gas liquids development in North Dakota. These commodities are booming right now, and Kodiak isn't the only company trying to cash in.
Forest Oil (NYSE: FST ) -- The company made a significant effort to expand its presence in shale plays in the third quarter, adding 174,000 net acres in liquids-rich regions. Initial well results in one of those plays, the Eagle Ford Shale, surpassed expectations and bode well for the continued emphasis that Forest is putting on liquids. Overall, the bulk of the company's capital expenditures for the quarter went toward development of the Granite Wash play, also in Texas, and the Eagle Ford.
Forest's commitment to liquids production isn't a new idea. In 2008, liquids accounted for just over 10% of production and 28% of revenue. That ratio has shifted dramatically, so that the expected liquids numbers for 2011 stand at just below 25% of production and 54% of revenue. This is the sort of forward thinking that small oil and gas companies need to possess in order to survive the current environment of basement-level natural gas prices.
Continental Resources (NYSE: CLR ) -- The company is a big player in what is perhaps the best-known oil shale in the U.S. right now. I'm talking about North Dakota's Bakken field, of course. Continental boosted its production there 27% over the second quarter of this year.
Continental is focused on the Bakken for the immediate future. Though each well in the play costs an average of $8 million to get up and running, Continental's rate of return in the Bakken is an impressive 40% to 50%.
Going forward, the company is pioneering the development of the Three Forks formation there, which sits below the lower Bakken and is expected to incrementally increase the company's reserves.
Carrizo Oil and Gas (Nasdaq: CRZO ) -- The company operates in the well-known Eagle Ford and Marcellus Shale plays, but has recently started using horizontal drilling in the Wattenberg field in the Colorado's Niobrara play. Heavyweight Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE: APC ) recently moved into the area and expects to pull between 500 million and 1.5 billion barrels of oil, NGLs, and natural gas from its wells there.
The company brought two new wells online in the Niobrara during the third quarter, with one more expected to come online in December. CEO Chip Johnson said the company's new wells continue to exceed expectations, a great sign for the future of liquids production at Carrizo.
Barring government intervention, oil and gas production will continue to boom domestically in the coming years. Utilize the Fool's free My Watchlist feature to stay up to date on all the exploration and production companies getting the most out of oil and NGLs.