One of ND’s largest oil producers posts wider loss on oil price slump

HOUSTON—Continental Resources Inc., North Dakota’s second-largest oil producer, posted a quarterly loss on Wednesday that missed Wall Street’s expectations because of the slump in crude prices.

The loss is an example of the difficulty facing the oil industry as it seeks to offset the period of low prices. Many companies have slashed costs to survive.

Shares of Continental fell 3 percent to $43.50 in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

Continental reported a second-quarter net loss of $119.4 million, or 32 cents per share, compared with a net profit of $403,000, or break-even on a per share basis, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding one-time items, the company lost 18 cents per share.

By that measure, analysts expected a loss of 17 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Production fell 3 percent to 219,323 barrels of oil equivalent per say. Output fell in all regions except for the SCOOP and STACK fields in Oklahoma, where Continental has invested heavily in the past year.

Despite the low prices, Continental is cash flow positive—meaning it spends less than it makes—and executives said they intend to maintain that for the rest of the year.

Continental said it now expects its production costs to fall 11 percent this year, even while it pumps 5,000 more barrels per day than previously expected.

From West Fargo Pioneer