Oil Boom in North Dakota Continues

Momentum in the Bakken Shale play doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon, as companies drill as quickly as they can. Kodiak Oil & Gas' (NYSE: KOG  ) recent results show a huge spike in revenue because of the company's expansion of drilling in the region.

Third-quarter revenue jumped 280% to $112.1 million and average production rose to 15,855 BOE/day from only 3,953 BOE/day a year ago. It's unfortunate that this didn't result in a GAAP profit of more than $3.5 million, or $0.01 per share, because of a loss of $36.7 million from hedging activities. Some of this loss may have reversed in the weeks since the third quarter ended because the price of oil fell.  

Kodiak isn't the only company benefiting from the boom in the Bakken, but it has started from one of the smallest bases, so the numbers are a bit flashier. Bakken competitor Whiting Petroleum (NYSE: WLL  ) is also increasing production, shooting for a 20% to 23% increase year over year. In the third quarter, oil production increased 22% while overall production jumped 17%.  

Falling oil prices in recent weeks may put a damper on these stocks short-term, but if the fiscal cliff is resolved and the economy picks up again, oil will rise, and so will stocks with exposure to Bakken. Kodiak, Continental Resources (NYSE: CLR  ) , Whiting Petroleum, and Statoil (NYSE: STO  ) are three of the largest landholders there, and each is increasing production as shale plays boom in the United States.

Keep an eye on growing production throughout the rest of the year and improving profitability if oil prices rise. As infrastructure is added in the region, margins should increase as well, meaning more to the bottom line for producers.

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