Comstock Resources is based in Frisco,
Texas and is engaged in the acquisition, development, production and
exploration of oil and natural gas with operations concentrated in
Texas and Louisiana. Our common stock is listed and traded on the
New York Stock Exchange.
At December 31, 2016 we owned interests in 1,371 producing wells. Our oil and gas properties are estimated to have proved reserves of 916 Bcfe which are 95% natural gas and 5% oil. In 2015 we restarted development activity in East Texas and North Louisiana where we have 78,437 (66,172 net) acres which are prospective for natural gas in the Haynesville or Bossier shale formations. We drilled 11 (7.8 net) horizontal natural gas wells on our Haynesville shale properties in 2016. In 2016, almost all of the $60 million of our drilling and completion expenditures were related to natural gas projects. We are deferring work on our oil focused properties until oil prices improve. Our Eagleville field includes 25,949 (19,046 net) acres located in the oil window of the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas.
Comstock offers potential investors the opportunity to invest in a Company with strong growth potential and a proven track record of successfully developing new shale resource plays. During 2016 we took steps to protect and enhance our liquidity. Beginning in 2015 and into 2016 we retired $237 million of our senior notes generating annual interest savings of $21 million with total interest savings to maturity of $83 million. Most importantly, we completed the exchange with our senior notes holders which reduced our annual cash interest burden by $37 million and allows Comstock to pay an additional $75 million of interest in-kind in the future. The future conversion of the second-lien notes issued in the exchange will de-lever our balance sheet and set us up to refinance our remaining debt at lower interest costs in the future.
In 2017, we are pursuing a natural gas drilling program in the Haynesville shale based on enhanced recovery from longer laterals and increased stimulation. The Company has over 700 operated drilling locations on its Haynesville/Bossier shale acreage, where the Company estimates to have over 6 Tcf of reserve potential. We are currently budgeting $168 million to drill 22 (17.2 net to us) long lateral natural gas wells in 2017. This program should provide 40% natural gas production growth in 2017 if we drill all of the wells that we have budgeted. We entered into a new Haynesville drilling joint venture with a utility in January 2017 which we can use to acquire additional acreage and to grow our inventory of drilling locations. We have one of the lowest overall cost structures in the industry, and we expect to see further improvements in our cost structure driven by our low cost Haynesville shale program. We are protecting our natural gas focused drilling program economics with an effective hedging program. We have no debt maturities prior to 2019 and we continue to conservatively manage our liquidity.