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Oasis Petroleum, Inc. Is Betting Big on the Bakken Shale This Year

By Matthew DiLallo – Feb 5, 2014 at 2:09PM

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Oasis Petroleum, Inc. is spending 40% more money to drill in the Bakken Shale in 2014.

Oasis Petroleum (OAS) has quietly built up an enormous position in the Bakken Shale of North Dakota. Despite recently lightening its position in the play, the company's land position now stands at more than a half million net acres. For perspective, that's nearly as much land as more well-known Bakken Shale producers Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp. (NYSE: KOG) and Statoil ASA (EQNR -3.25%) have combined. In order to develop its massive position, Oasis Petroleum is boosting its Bakken Shale spending program by 40% in 2014.

The big bet
Oasis Petroleum's 2014 capital expenditure budget calls for the company to spend $1.425 billion to drill a total of 155.5 net wells. That's up from the $1.02 billion that the company set as part of its original 2013 capital budget to drill 103.4 wells. What's important to note here is that the company is drilling 50% more wells while only boosting its capital program by about 40%. A combination of factors including drilling 90% of its wells on pads, as well as continued efficiencies from its Oasis Well Services business allow the company to drill more wells with less money.

The wells drilled in 2014 are expected to fuel a 42% increase in Oasis Petroleum's production over last year. The company sees its daily production averaging between 46,000-50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, or BOE/d in 2014. That's up from a 2013 average of 33,904 BOE/d and a 2012 average of 22,469 BOE/d.

Oasis Petroleum's 2014 production will be well ahead of the 42,000-44,000 BOE/d that Kodiak Oil & Gas expects to deliver in 2014 and it could also top Statoil's production in the play next year. On top of that, Oasis Petroleum has a 17-year drilling inventory of 2,616 net operated and non-operated future drilling locations, while Kodiak Oil & Gas has a 14-year inventory of 1,400 future drilling locations. While many investors have been drawn to the triple-digit annual production growth that Kodiak Oil & Gas has been delivering the past few years, Oasis Petroleum appears to have more future growth left in its tank. 

Investor takeaway
Oasis Petroleum quietly has put together a top position in the Bakken Shale that includes current production and future growth that tops some of its more well-known rivals. That said, Oasis Petroleum's position and production still trails some of the top Bakken Shale producers, which is why it's not as well known by investors. That could change this year as the company bets big on the play. Not only that but its massive land position could make it a very appealing takeover candidate for a company looking for an immediate scale position in one of America's hottest oil plays.

Matt DiLallo has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Statoil (ADR). We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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