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Halcon to Take ‘Tempered Approach’ to Capex in 2016

Halcon Resources Corp. plans to “take a more tempered approach” to its capital expenditures (capex) in 2016, setting a drilling and completion budget of $180-210 million, the company said Friday.

That’s roughly 50% lower than the Houston-based exploration and production (E&P) company’s revised 2015 budget of $375-425 million. Halcon set its 2014 capital spending guidance at $950 million.

Halcon said it anticipates reduced drilling and completion activity in its acreage in both the Williston Basin and the El Halcon area in the Eagle Ford in 2016. Production is expected to remain flat or decrease by around 5% compared to 2015 levels. In its 3Q2015 results, the company reported reduced drilling times and completed well costs (see Shale Daily, Nov. 9).

Halcon said its scaled-back capex budget comes “despite being significantly hedged in 2016 at an average price of $80.59/bbl and currently having approximately $800 million of liquidity.”

On Wednesday, Halcon, with its shares trading under $1 on the New York Stock Exchange, announced plans to execute a one-to-five reverse stock split to take effect when the market closes on Jan. 4. The company’s stock subsequently fell to as low as 20 cents/share after opening the week at 43 cents. At the end of regular trading hours Friday, Halcon’s shares were priced at 27 cents.

In its third quarter earnings, Halcon reported a $1.53 billion net loss (minus $3.06/share) through the first nine months of 2015.

After Halcon’s capex announcement, analysts with Wells Fargo said they estimate Halcon’s budget will be “roughly in line with cash flows leaving leverage elevated and with hedges rolling off in 2017.” The firm projected “significant declines in cash flows on the horizon at strip pricing.”

Halcon said it plans to release additional details on its 2016 capital guidance during its 4Q2015 earnings call in February.

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