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Whiting Petroleum Corporation Announces Organizational Redesign and Cost Realignment to Transform Whiting into a Leading, Value-Focused Developer of Unconventional Assets

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Restructuring Expected to Generate $50 Million in Annual Cost Savings

Whiting Petroleum Corporation (WLL) today announced that it has conducted a comprehensive assessment of its organization, operations and cost structure and is implementing an organizational redesign and cost reduction strategy to better align Whiting’s business with the current operating environment and drive long term value.

The restructuring is focused on the following initiatives:

  • Redesign the Company’s organization to improve costs and enhance execution;
  • Streamline operations to expedite the delivery of peer leading returns and free cash flow;
  • Implement new technologies and processes in the field to enhance operational efficiency; and
  • Invest in best in class data and technology to enhance planning and strategic insight which should lead to superior operational and financial performance.

In connection with this restructuring, the Company has reduced its workforce by 33%, or 254 positions. Of this total, 94 positions are executive and corporate positions.

Whiting expects the restructuring to result in $50 million of annual cost savings. The cost reductions also include various non-employee expenses. In connection with this, the Company expects to incur a one-time charge of approximately $8 million in the third quarter of 2019.

“We aim to be as efficient as possible and that is why we made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce in order to realize significant annualized cost savings,” said Bradley J. Holly, Whiting’s President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “As the oil and gas industry landscape continues to evolve and investor focus shifts to prioritize predictable capital returns, we see a tremendous opportunity to transform Whiting into a leading, value-focused developer of unconventional assets with a commitment to safety, cost-efficiency, disciplined capital expenditure and maximizing returns. The decision to reduce headcount is always a difficult one as it impacts talented colleagues and friends, but it is a necessary step in our company’s transformation. I want to express my sincere appreciation for the employees affected by today's announcement and their many contributions to Whiting. Consistent with Whiting’s Values, we are committed to treating those impacted fairly and respectfully and are providing support to make this transition as smooth as possible.”

In a separate press release issued today, Whiting also announced its second quarter 2019 earnings and updated financial outlook. The Company will host its second quarter 2019 conference call August 1, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. ET.

About Whiting Petroleum Corporation

Whiting Petroleum Corporation, a Delaware corporation, is an independent oil and gas company that develops, produces, acquires and explores for crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids primarily in the Rocky Mountains region of the United States. The Company’s largest projects are in the Bakken and Three Forks plays in North Dakota and Montana and the Niobrara play in northeast Colorado. The Company trades publicly under the symbol WLL on the New York Stock Exchange. For further information, please visit http://www.whiting.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains statements that we believe to be “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements other than historical facts, including, without limitation, statements regarding our future financial position, business strategy, projected revenues, earnings, costs, capital expenditures and debt levels, and plans and objectives of management for future operations, are forward-looking statements. When used in this news release, words such as we “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe” or “should” or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such statements.

These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: declines in or extended periods of low oil, NGL or natural gas prices; our level of success in exploration, development and production activities; risks related to our level of indebtedness, ability to comply with debt covenants and periodic redeterminations of the borrowing base under our credit agreement; the geographic concentration of our operations; the ability to achieve the benefits of our organizational redesign and cost reduction strategy; impacts to financial statements as a result of impairment write-downs; federal and state initiatives relating to the regulation of hydraulic fracturing and air emissions; revisions to reserve estimates as a result of changes in commodity prices, regulation and other factors; adverse weather conditions that may negatively impact development or production activities; the timing of our exploration and development expenditures; inaccuracies of our reserve estimates or our assumptions underlying them; risks relating to any unforeseen liabilities of ours; our ability to generate sufficient cash flows from operations to meet the internally funded portion of our capital expenditures budget; our ability to obtain external capital to finance exploration and development operations; our ability to successfully complete asset dispositions and the risks related thereto; unforeseen underperformance of or liabilities associated with acquired properties; the impacts of hedging on our results of operations; failure of our properties to yield oil or gas in commercially viable quantities; availability of, and risks associated with, transport of oil and gas; our ability to drill producing wells on undeveloped acreage prior to its lease expiration; shortages of or delays in obtaining qualified personnel or equipment, including drilling rigs and completion services; uninsured or underinsured losses resulting from our oil and gas operations; our inability to access oil and gas markets due to market conditions or operational impediments; the impact and costs of compliance with laws and regulations governing our oil and gas operations; the potential impact of changes in laws that could have a negative effect on the oil and gas industry; our ability to replace our oil and natural gas reserves; negative impacts from litigation and legal proceedings; any loss of our senior management or technical personnel; competition in the oil and gas industry; cyber security attacks or failures of our telecommunication systems; and other risks described under the caption “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2018. We assume no obligation, and disclaim any duty, to update the forward-looking statements in this news release.

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