QUOTE AND NEWS
Motley Fool  Jul 25  Comment 
Most people have no idea who Harold Hamm -- one of America's 30 richest people -- is, but the founder of Continental Resources has helped reshape America's energy future and helped Berkshire Hathaway investors along the way.
Motley Fool  Jul 17  Comment 
As Whiting Petroleum buys Kodiak Oil & Gas, it is establishing itself as the biggest Bakken/Three-Forks producer, surpassing Continental Resources.
SeekingAlpha  Jul 14  Comment 
By Bret Jensen: One of many mergers announced today on "Merger Monday" was Whiting Petroleum's (NYSE:WLL) acquisition of Kodiak Oil & Gas (NYSE:KOG) for some $6B, including $3.8B in stock and $2.2B in net debt. This will make Whiting the biggest...
Motley Fool  Jul 14  Comment 
The oil gas industry has its challenges, but Continental Resources' growth shows that the industry is much more than a subprime bubble waiting to burst.
MarketWatch  Jul 14  Comment 
Whiting Petroleum says it would buy Kodiak Oil & Gas, creating a new top producer in the Bakken Shale and Three Forks formations.
SeekingAlpha  Jun 21  Comment 
By Detroit Bear: In late 2013, I profiled Continental Resources (CLR) as one of my favorite ideas at the time. I assigned a near-term price target of $146 per share. While the stock initially struggled, shares are now up roughly 37% year-to-date,...
Market Intelligence Center  Jun 16  Comment 
Continental Resources Inc. (CLR) presents a trading opportunity that offers a 5.65% return in just 96 days. A covered call on Continental Resources at the $150.00 level expiring on Sep. '14 offers an assigned return rate of 5.65% or 21.48%...
Market Intelligence Center  Jun 13  Comment 
Continental Resources Inc. (CLR) traded between $148.26 and $153.56 before closing at $149.89 Thursday and presents some attractive trading opportunities today. MarketIntelligenceCenter.com’s algorithms have picked a Sep. '14 $145.00 covered...
SeekingAlpha  Jun 11  Comment 
By Michael Fitzsimmons: I admit it: I have a love/hate relationship with Whiting Petroleum (WLL). Years ago I decided to invest in the emerging Bakken shale and boiled the choice down to two companies: Whiting Petroleum and Continental Resources...
Market Intelligence Center  May 13  Comment 
The patented option-trade picking algorithms that power MarketIntelligenceCenter.com's Artificial Intelligence Center  are highlighting two trades on Continental Resources Inc. (CLR) today after it closed at $133.29 on Monday. For more...




 

Continental Resources had its initial public offering in May of 2007 and its stock price has more than tripled since then. Continental's engineers have been using high-end extraction techniques for nearly a decade, giving them an established knowledge of the intricacies of technologies like horizontal drilling - a boon in a market where record-high oil prices have made such expensive techniques cost-efficient. The majority of its reserves - around 77% - are filled with oil[1], giving the company more exposure to oil prices than to natural gas prices, which have also trended upwards, but to a much lesser degree. These reserves, located primarily in the Rocky Mountains, are also mostly unconventional, meaning they can produce well but are dependent on high-cost drilling techniques - risky to hold in the event that oil prices drop, as the company's margins, which have been over 50% for the last three years, would collapse. Continental competes with other onshore E&P companies like Cabot Oil & Gas, XTO Energy, Unit, Forest Oil, Equitable Resources, and Cimarex Energy Co.

Business Overview

Continental Resources has been an independent oil and gas exploration company ince 1967, though the company only went public in May of 2007. It has reserves totaling 134.6 MMBoe, 77% of which are filled with oil (the rest with natural gas). 82% are located in the Rocky Mountains, and the rest are distributed between the Woodford Shale and other mid-continent and Gulf Coast fields.

Continental's reserves are concentrated in regions that have seen little attention from larger, publicly-traded companies because of the high cost of developing them. For this reason, the company has had years of developing unconventional reserves without competition, developing a skill set that has come in handy in a high oil price environment. With oil prices at record highs, oil companies are all scrambling to ramp up production, and are willing to use expensive extraction techniques to get at difficult-to-access reserves; Continental's experience allows to use these techniques at lower cost and higher efficiency.

Business & Financial Metrics[2]

In 2009, CLR generated a net income of $71.4 million on revenues of $610.7 million. This represents a 77.8% decrease in net income and a 35.9% decrease in total revenues from 2008, when the company earned $321.0 million on $939.9 million in revenue.

Trends and Forces

The Success of Continental's Drilling Strategy Relies on High Oil Prices

Up until 2007, Continental was a private corporation, and so was able to focus on developing high-end extraction technologies and crew expertise in ways that public E&P companies couldn't because oil prices were low and so returns on such techniques weren't as high. The company went public at a time when oil prices were on their way to record highs, giving the company the advantage of a decade of unconventional drilling experience. While many of Continental's reserves are in large, high-output fields, they are also relatively unconventional formations - they require expensive, unconventional drilling technologies like horizontal drilling and enhanced extraction techniques to produce. In the Red River fields of the Rocky Mountains, for example, the company has over 50% of its reserves, and has already drilled 235 horizontal wells, versus just 18 conventional, vertical wells.[3]

Legislation Supporting the Development of Renewable Energy Threatens the Long-Term Strength of Hydrocarbons in the U.S.

Whether it’s because of the desire for energy independence, the rising price of oil, or fears of climate change, public opinion has turned away from petroleum, and is driving government policy changes that encourage the adoption of alternative fuels. Environmentalists have been calling for a shift to renewable energy for years, and though the river of change is running slow, it is running deep. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is the first step towards a grander series of changes. By forcing automakers to achieve 35 mpg by 2020 and setting a Renewable Fuel Standard of 36 billion gallons of biofuels in 2022[4], the Act has potential to get the ball rolling to greatly reduce American dependence on hydrocarbons.

Already, 26 states across the country have adopted Renewable Energy Standards to increase the share of renewables in their energy mixes, while both Democratic candidates for President have pledged to reduce carbon emissions 80%, to below 1990 levels by 2050.[5][6] While the Republican candidate isn't so tough on climate action, he still supports a strong cap-and-trade system. In emerging markets like China and India, the drive for economic growth supersedes environmental concerns, but CLR sells all its petroleum to the U.S. companies, a changing American environmental and energy legislation landscape would be disastrous to its business without the development of some effective carbon sequestration technology.

Competition

With all of its reserves on land, Continental competes with other U.S. onshore E&P companies.

  • Cabot Oil & Gas - Cabot abandoned its offshore operations in favor of developing 1.616 Tcf worth of natural gas reserves across the U.S., in locations like Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, the Rocky Mountains, and Canada.[7]
  • XTO Energy - XTO is an onshore E&P company operating in Texas, Louisiana, and the Rockies with approximately 11.29 trillion cubic feet equivalent in its reserves.[8]
  • Unit - Aside from its midstream pipelines and oilfield services operations, Unit has reserves of 514.6 Bcfe in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, of which 82% are natural gas.[9]
  • Forest Oil - Forest Oil operates 2.1 Tcfe of reserves around the world.[10]
  • Equitable Resources - Aside from its natural gas pipelines, storage, and utilities businesses, Equitable Resources operates 2.7 Tcfe of reserves in the Appalachian Basin.[11]
  • Cimarex Energy Co - Cimarex's reserves contain 1.4 Tcfe of petroleum, of which 1.1 Tcf is natural gas; the company drills in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Wyoming, and Louisiana.[12]

References

  1. CLR 2007 10-K, Page 4
  2. CLR 2009 10-K pg. 40  
  3. CLR 2007 10-K
  4. WhiteHouse.gov, Fact Sheet: Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
  5. CNN Election Center: Issues: Environment
  6. Washington Post: "A Green(er) Obama"
  7. Reuters: Full Description: Cabot Oil & Gas Corp
  8. Reuters: Full Description: XTO Energy Inc.
  9. Unit Web Site: Operations Map
  10. http://sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/38079/000104746908001938/a2183054z10-k.htm FST 2007 10-K, Page 4]
  11. EQT 2007 10-K
  12. XEC 2007 10-K
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