Continental Resources Inc, the second-largest North Dakota oil producer, spent $2.3 million at a state land auction for the right to explore for crude on 160 acres, outbidding its nearest rival with just seconds left on the clock. The deal, secured this week with a check to state officials, shows that despite the more-than 60 percent drop in crude prices since last summer, demand for oil-rich acreage in the state remains high. With most of its mineral rights spoken for, any new auctions tend to elicit strong interest, usually from smaller companies hoping for a sliver of North Dakota's Bakken shale formation.While larger industry peers have curbed 2015 output forecasts, Continental has taken a bullish view and expressed confidence oil prices will rebound by December. Chief Executive Harold Hamm told Wall Street last month he expects the company's output to jump as much as 20 percent this year.Given that Oklahoma City-based Continental already controls the largest amount of mineral rights in North Dakota, the No. 2 U.S. oil producing state after Texas, it was not immediately clear why it moved aggressively to add to its holdings.A company representative was not immediately available to comment.
Continental Resources, Inc. (Continental Resources) is an independent crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company with operations in the North, South and East regions of the United States. Shares of CLR fell by 2.75% or $-1.14/share to $40.38. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $30.06 and as high as $80.91. On average, 4882190 shares of CLR exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 2768740.