- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma City-based oil and natural gas producer is slashing its 2015 drilling budget by more than 40 percent as crude oil prices continue to tumble.

The Oklahoman reports (http://bit.ly/1x0cdWO ) that Continental Resources Inc. took the action on Monday but said it still plans to increase production 16 percent to 20 percent from 2014 levels.

Continental CEO Harold Hamm says no job losses are expected. Hamm says the company won’t be growing as fast as it had originally planned but will still increase production.

The announcement came as crude oil prices have fallen nearly 50 percent over the past few months. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude, which is priced in Cushing, settled at $55.26 Monday, down $1.87 on the day and off from a recent high of $107.95 in June.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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