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Whiting Petroleum Corporation Announces Fourth Quarter And Full-Year 2010 Financial And Operating Results

Stocks in this article: WLL

The average initial production rate for the 65 Bakken wells completed from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010 averaged 2,478 BOE per day, representing an 18% increase over the 2,102 BOE average initial production rate for wells completed prior to January 1, 2010. The average initial production rate for the seven Three Forks wells completed from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010 averaged 1,302 per day, representing a 29% increase over the 1,012 BOE average initial production rate for the three wells completed prior to January 1, 2010.

Whiting believes that additional frac stages have contributed to the higher initial production rates for wells completed in 2010. In 2010, the Company fracture stimulated its wells with between 15 and 30 separate fracs, averaging 21 frac stages per well. Prior to 2010, most of Whiting’s wells in the Sanish field were fraced in 10 stages. The Company is also using more proppant and frac fluid in its fracing operations. For a 30-stage frac, Whiting is currently using 30,000 to 45,000 barrels of frac fluid and 2.4 to 3.3 million pounds of sand. The Company recently ran a new sliding sleeve assembly in the Smith 14-29XH well in the Sanish field for a planned 40-stage frac. Further, Whiting was recently provided with a new down-hole assembly that is capable of performing up to 60 separate fracture stimulations within 20 intervals along the horizontal portion of the wellbore.

Whiting estimates that the total completed well costs for its most recently completed wells in the Sanish field will come in below $5.5 million per well. The last five wells that Whiting drilled in Sanish field reached a total measured depth of approximately 20,000 feet, including 10,000 feet of lateral, in an average of 22 days. The Company’s record from spud date to total depth is just under 14 days. The reduction in drilling time and associated costs is primarily the result of our “Drill Wells On Paper” (DWOP) program, which applies the best practices and best logistical planning of all our drilling and completion contractors to produce drilling and completion efficiencies. Prior to the implementation of our DWOP program in June 2009, it took an average of 38 days from spud date to total depth. With an average of 18 fewer days on location, we are saving approximately $900,000 per well in drilling costs.

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