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By Swagato Chakravorty

Oklahoma-based Continental Resources Inc. (NYSE:CLR), a leading oil producer in the Bakken shale, yesterday unveiled its strategy for the next five years. Key information includes intent to increase both production and proven reserves threefold by the end of 2017.

This isn’t unexpected and follows Continental’s determination to expand production to 108 million barrels of oil equivalent by 2017 -- a marked increase from mid-2012’s estimate of 36 million. This large growth is expected to arrive mainly from the Bakken fields.

The company’s proven reserves, currently at 610 million barrels of oil equivalent, is also expected to increase threefold by 2017.

Continental expects annual production growth of 30 to 35 percent in 2013. For the second quarter of this year, Continental’s average production was 94,852 BOE per day. Estimates for 2013 depend heavily on the completion of 300 net wells accompanied by capital outlays of up to $3.4 billion.

Continental is an independent exploration and production firm, and focuses mainly on the Bakken, Cana, and Niobrara shales. In the Bakken, Continental has leases on almost 1 million acres.

The North Dakota and Montana Bakken shales appear the most promising for Continental, and the Anadarko and Arkoma Woodford shales in Oklahoma are close runners-up.