Continental targets big savings in Bakken by end-2013

Oct 9 (Reuters) - Continental Resources Inc , the topoil producer in the Bakken region, said on Tuesday it expects tocut $1 million off the cost of its average well there by the endof 2013, as it takes on one of the biggest challenges in thebooming oil basin.

The company aims to bring its per-well cost down to $8.2million by the end of 2013 from $9.2 million in the first halfof 2012, Chief Operating Officer Rick Bott said in apresentation to analysts.

The Bakken, which is centered in North Dakota and runs intoMontana and Canada, is Continental's primary development, whileit also has a large interest in Oklahoma's Anadarko Woodfordbasin.

Continental said late on Monday it expects to increasecompany-wide production in 2013 by between 30 percent and 35percent, while drilling 300 "net" wells -- accounting for itsshare of partly owned wells -- up from 286 net wells this year.

Capital expenditure will rise to $3.4 billion from $3billion in 2012, and two-thirds of the company's $2.9 billion in2013 drilling capital would be spent in the Bakken.

Shares of Continental, which have increased by more than 50percent in the last year, were 2.4 percent higher at $78.34 inlate morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Braden Reddall in San Francisco; Editing byLeslie Gevirtz)

((braden.reddall@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 415 677 2543)(ReutersMessaging: braden.reddall.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))