Brigham Exploration announced commencement of a proposed underwritten public offering of 13,000,000 shares of common stock under its automatic shelf registration statement. Net proceeds from the offering are expected to be used primarily to fund an acceleration of Brigham's development drilling program on its core 161,900 net acres in the Williston Basin. Assuming completion of the offering, the company anticipates increasing its operated rigs running in the Williston Basin from four to eight by May 2011 and drilling a total of roughly 76 net Bakken and Three Forks wells during 2010 and 2011. In connection with the offering, the underwriters will have a 30-day option to purchase up to 1,950,000 additional shares of common stock.
Assuming net proceeds of approximately $213 million from the proposed offering, Brigham anticipates that its 2010 exploration and development capital budget will be revised upward from $199 million to $294 million, which would include $267 million in drilling and related production infrastructure expenditures and $27 million in land and seismic expenditures. Brigham anticipates that the updated budget will fund 31.1 net horizontal Bakken and Three Forks wells in the Williston Basin in 2010, which would be drilled primarily in its core acreage positions in its Rough Rider and Ross project areas in Williams, McKenzie and Mountrail Counties, North Dakota. Brigham currently has four operating rigs running in the Williston Basin and assuming completion of the offering, anticipates adding a fifth operated rig in May 2010 and adding an incremental operated rig every four months thereafter until reaching eight operated rigs in May 2011. The revised 2010 drilling expenditure budget will also include two net wells in Brigham's South Texas Vicksburg play in Brooks County, Texas.
In conjunction with the proposed offering, Brigham anticipates setting its initial 2011 exploration and development capital budget at $360 million, which would include $348 million in drilling expenditures and $12 million in land and seismic expenditures. In 2011, Brigham currently anticipates drilling 44.6 net Bakken and Three Forks wells in the Williston Basin primarily in its core acreage positions in its Rough Rider and Ross project areas.
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