Houston-based Halcón Resources plans to drill several more wells in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale by the end of the year but will sharply reduce its drilling activity in 2015 because of low oil prices, the company said Monday.
The Tuscaloosa stretches across the middle of Louisiana and into Mississippi.
Halcón plans to drill two new wells in the Tuscaloosa by the end of the year and will participate in four to five others.
Halcón has more than 300,000 acres in the oil-rich formation under lease, with more than a third of that in Wilkinson County, Mississippi.
During the third quarter, the company operated an average of two rigs in the formation and participated in six wells. The wells’ 30-day production rate was the equivalent of about 895 barrels of oil per day.
However, Halcón Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Floyd C. Wilson said the company expects to operate six drilling rigs in 2015 instead of the 11 originally planned. He attributed the reduction to low oil prices.
The company’s preliminary drilling and well completion budget is $750 million to $800 million.
The company did not give details on which formations it will spend its money in. But wells in the Tuscaloosa, still in the early stages of development, are considered the most expensive in the country.
Publicly traded firms with major holdings in the Tuscaloosa, such as Halcón and Goodrich Petroleum, have seen their stock hammered in the past few months, along with the price of oil. Halcón closed Monday at $3.25, less than half of the price in late July.
Meanwhile, Halcón has 78 wells producing in the east Eagle Ford Shale in Texas and six being completed or awaiting completion. The company also has 210 producing wells in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale.
Despite reducing its drilling budget, Halcón said its North Dakota and Texas leases are expected to increase production by 15 percent to 20 percent in 2015.
Halcón reported adjusted net income of $10.9 million, or 3 cents per share, for the third quarter. However, those results included a loss of $169.7 million, or 42 cents per share, on derivatives contracts.
A year ago, the company reported a profit of $18.1 million, or 4 cents per share.
Stock analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research had forecast earnings of 6 cents per share.