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Halcon Plans Up to 500 Wells, Oil Rail Terminal in Utica

published by NGI's Shale Daily: August 5, 2013

Halcon Resources Corp. said an exploratory well targeting the Utica Shale has been producing more than 2,000 boe/d. The company said it plans to spend "significant time" in the play, where it has the acreage to drill up to 500 gross wells. Meanwhile, Halcon unit Halcon Field Services (HFS) has struck an agreement with the Ohio Commerce Center (OCC), a mixed-use industrial site in Lordstown, OH, to build an oil storage and rail loading facility (see Shale Daily, July 26). During a conference call to discuss the Houston-based company's 2Q2013 earnings, CEO Floyd Wilson said the Kibler 1H well, located in Trumbull County, OH, is producing 2,233 boe/d, with 75% weighted toward oil and natural gas liquids (NGL). "This well is one of the top producers in the play, and we have room for about 500 wells in that area," Wilson said Thursday, later adding that the well's test results "compare favorably with the better wells in the entire play, north or south. [It] tested better than all but 10 wells across the entire play." A second test well targeting the Utica -- Allam 1H in Venango County, PA -- also produced "excellent" test results, according to Wilson. "The Allam 1H is one of the more important wells in the play as far as I'm concerned, proving that the play can be commercial for us in the Northeast," he said. Net production for the second quarter averaged 29,165 boe/d, with 83% weighted toward oil, 12% natural gas and 5% NGLs. CFO Mark Mize said 2Q2013 production was 12% higher than 1Q2013 and was above guidance of 27,000-29,000 boe/d. Production in the previous second quarter was 3,912 boe/d. Wilson said the company had recently restarted its leasing efforts and was making progress toward its goal of securing more than 100,000 net acres of leasehold. Halcon would deploy at least one drilling rig in the vicinity of the Kibler well for the rest of the year, he said. Last May, industry analysts said they were disappointed with results from two test wells drilled in the Utica: Allam, and the Phillips 1H well in Mercer County, PA (see Shale Daily, May 28). The Allam well tested at a peak rate of 6.6 MMcf/d of natural gas and 22 b/d of condensate, while the Phillips well peaked at 2.5 MMcf/d of gas, 120 b/d of condensate. During the Q&A session, Wilson said the company held an area "that's proven to be productive" in Ohio's Mahoning and Trumbull counties, and in Pennsylvania's Mercer and Venango counties, but he declined to reveal the precise number of acres the company holds in them. He did, however, say the company was drilling on 160-acre spacing. Halcon's website says the company holds about 142,000 net acres in the Utica, in Ohio and Pennsylvania. "It's very competitive and we're still leasing," Wilson said. "Up in Venango, in the area that we've defined as being likely similar to the Allam well, we have room for 100-150 wells...and we're adding a little bit of acreage up there. Down south, we have more acreage. "Again, we're not saying exactly how much because we're adding, but we have room for about 500 wells down there now. We don't really get into those exact numbers this early in the stage of things. The next couple of years, we'll spend all of our money in the Kibler area, except maybe late next year, we'll start drilling a little bit in the Allam area. "We have long-term leases or HBP [held by production] leases everywhere up there so we're under no pressure. We'll let economics drive our decisions." The company said it operated an average of two rigs in Ohio and Pennsylvania during 2Q2013. Wilson added that it has taken longer for Halcon to build infrastructure in the northern part of its holdings, which include Venango County. "Permitting and whatnot is difficult and time consuming up there," he said, "so generally speaking our [spending] is going to be down around the Kibler area for the next 12, 18 months, for sure." On the terminal project at the OCC, Wilson said the facility has more than 12,000 feet of new rail and access to multiple Class I rail carriers. He said the terminal HFS builds will be capable of accommodating unit trains at a rate of 140,000 b/d of oil or condensate. "We'll build the terminal in phases, the first of which will go into service by the end of the year," Wilson said. "The project is on track for environmental clearance and permits and internal approvals within several weeks. "In addition, HFS continues to engage in discussions for potential drilling ventures to develop high pressure, rich gas gathering systems and cryogenic processing in Ohio and Pennsylvania. These potential joint ventures would provide for third-party volume and shared capital cost of our buildout in the play." Halcon reported net income of $16.8 million during 2Q2013, compared to net income of $2.8 million in the year-ago quarter.

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