Continental Buys Bakken Acreage for $649.3 Million

Continental Resources Inc., the largest leaseholder in North Dakota’s Bakken oil deposit, bought more acreage there from KKR & Co.’s Samson Resources Corp. for $649.3 million in cash.

The purchase of 119,218 net acres includes production equivalent to about 6,500 barrels of oil a day, Oklahoma City-based Continental said today in a statement. Continental raised $125 million selling producing assets elsewhere. The transactions were announced Nov. 7. Samson was identified today as the Bakken seller.

The company raised its 2013 forecast for production growth and capital spending, based on the two transactions announced today. Total Bakken output will rise to 682,000 barrels a day this quarter, 45 percent more than a year earlier, according to Bloomberg Industries.

“The transactions add 20 Bakken wells to our 2013 drilling program,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Harold Hamm said in today’s statement.

Continental’s output will rise as much as 40 percent from 2012 levels, up from a prior forecast of as much as 35 percent, the company said. Spending will be $3.6 billion, up from a planned $3.4 billion. Production expense per barrel will be from $5.20 to $5.60 a barrel, down from an earlier range of $5.50 to $5.90.

KKR & Co., the New York private-equity firm that began investing in the energy industry in 1985, bought most of Samson for $7.2 billion in November 2011 to capitalize on increased production of shale-based oil and gas.

Continental rose 0.6 percent to $75.39 at the close in New York. KKR fell 0.9 percent to $14.57.

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