* Sees Bakken per-well cost at $8.2 mln by end-2013, down $1mln
* Company plans to increase production by 30-35 pct in 2013 * Shares end 2.8 pct higher
(Adds details from investor meeting, analyst comment, updatesstock price)
By Braden Reddall
Oct 9 (Reuters) - Continental Resources Inc , the topoil producer in the Bakken oil region, said on Tuesday itexpects to cut $1 million off the cost of its average well thereby the end of 2013, as it takes on one of the biggest challengesin the booming 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.
Many operators in the region also plan to drive down costsin the area now that infrastructure has improved and they moveto drilling more wells from single locations.
The Bakken, centered in North Dakota and running intoMontana and Canada, is Continental's main development, while italso has a large interest in Oklahoma's Anadarko Woodford basin.
The company had said late on Monday it expects to increasecompany-wide production in 2013 by between 30 and 35 percent,while drilling 300 "net" wells - accounting for its share ofpartly 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.
Continental said the average rig count should be 35 for2013, before ramping up to more than 40 the following year andthen running at between 50 and 55 rigs for the rest of thefive-year plan - effectively double the level of today.
The presentation, made available by webcast, was held inOklahoma City, where the company just completed the move of itsheadquarters this year from its old home in Enid, a few hours'drive north.
Shares of Continental, which have increased by more than 50percent in the last year, ended 2.8 percent higher at $78.66 onTuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
"We are raising our 2013 estimates as a result of bothstronger growth and spending outlooks, but remain fans of thename," said Raymond James analyst Andrew Coleman. "Even with ourcautious oil outlook, we see (Continental's) balance sheetholding up well."
A few Continental executives talked of the consolidation nowunder way in the Bakken, with their company alone adding 130,000acres there in just over a year.
"We look at five to 10 different acquisition offers everyweek," said Chief Executive Harold Hamm.
Hamm has thrust himself into the political limelight thisyear by serving as energy adviser to Republican presidentialcandidate Mitt Romney.
Even the investor presentation on Tuesday took on apolitical hue, with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, also aRepublican, giving the opening remarks and decrying the"challenges" for business currently presented by Washington.
(Reporting by Braden Reddall in San Francisco; editing byLeslie Gevirtz and Matthew Lewis)
Keywords: CONTINENTALRESOURCES OUTLOOK/