What's not to like about Kodiak Oil & Gas (NYSE: KOG ) ? It's named after a tough bear, its operating regions are also named after bears, and -- let's face it -- this company is on fire. Kodiak reported its fourth-quarter and 2011 full-year results this morning, and it's hard not to feel bullish about this bear.
Kodiak reported average daily sales volumes of 7,195 barrels of oil equivalent per day. This marks not only a 422% increase over the same quarter last year, but an 82% jump over the third quarter of 2011. The best part, in these hard times for natural gas prices, is that crude oil made up 94% of production. That is one of the advantages to operating in the Bakken shale.
The fourth quarter was not without concerns, however. The company reported mechanical issues with liners in the lateral of six wells, forcing production delays at those sites. The wells will now come on line in the first quarter of 2012. This is disappointing from a production standpoint, but the silver, er, lining here is that the company stopped to fix a problem before something terrible happened. And it was transparent about it.
Last year was supposed to be a modest year of growth for Kodiak. Coming out of 2010, capital expenditures were set at a then-company-high of $200 million, and the company targeted an average production rate of 5,000 to 6,500 BOE/d, with a year-end exit rate of 9,000 BOE/d. The bear then began to blow those numbers out of the water.
As of Dec. 31, 2011, Kodiak's exit rate from its legacy assets was 10,100 BOE/d, 10% higher than expected. Taking into account its recently closed acquisition, Kodiak's production rate this month is 15,000 BOE/d. The company's average daily sales for the year increased 204% over 2010's results.
Proved reserves also climbed dramatically, increasing 246% over last year. Kodiak's 39.8 million barrels of oil equivalent are comprised of 35.6 million barrels of crude and 25.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas -- great numbers, especially considering that they don't include estimates from the January acquisition. Expect reserves to continue to increase in 2012.
Management has reaffirmed its previously announced 2012 outlook. Capital spending is set at $585 million to bring on line 73 gross wells and 51 net wells. Target average daily production rates are between 22,000 and 24,000 BOE/d, with a Dec. 31, 2012, exit rate of 30,000 BOE/d.
2011 was a big year of acquisitions for Kodiak Oil & Gas. Going forward in 2012, I'd love to see the company continue to improve efficiencies in assets to drum production up even further. Securing a 24-hour Halliburton hydraulic fracturing crew is an example of how Kodiak is already taking steps to do so. It may be more difficult this year than in the past, given the demand for crews, rigs, and other equipment in the Bakken. I plan to add Kodiak Oil and Gas to My Watchlist to keep an eye on its progress this year.