Occidental Petroleum Reduced 2015 Capex by 33%

Occidental Bakken Acreage
Occidental Bakken Acreage

Occidental Petroleum Corporation reported during its earnings call in late January that the company sustained a fourth quarter loss of $3.4 billion.

In response to low oil prices, Occidental announced it will scale back its 2015 capital spending by 33 percent to $5.8 billion from $8.7 billion spent in 2014. In addition to the cuts, the company will also be reducing its activity in the Bakken.

This confirms the news we reported in October that the company was in the process of restructuring, and looking to sell off its Williston Basin assets. Read more here.

Stephen Chazen, President and Chief Executive Officer confirmed that the company “minimized our development activities in the Williston Basin, domestic gas properties, Bahrain, and the Joslyn oil sands project, as these have subpar returns in this current product price environment. These efforts should result in a reduction in the cost of executing our capital program, as well as reducing our operating expenses

Occidental may be moving out of the Bakken sooner than later. The Dickinson Press reported this week that the company had one rig finishing up in Dunn County and plans to move the equipment offsite within a week.

Other company highlights include a year-end 2014 cash balance of $7.8 billion, which exceeds their total debt of $6.8 billion. Additionally, the company projects that oil and gas production will grow 6 to 10 percent in 2015.

Learn more about Occidental's Bakken operation

Read more at oxy.com

Halcon - Petro Hunt Bakken Deal Announced for $1.45 Billion

Halcon Resources Bakken Acreage Map
Halcon Resources Bakken Acreage Map

Halcon Resouces is acquiring Petro-Hunt's Bakkken assets for $1.45 billion ($700 million cash and $750 million in equity). Halcon will receive 10,500 boe/d of production and 81,000 net acres spread across Dunn, McKenzie, Mountrail, and Williams counties in North Dakota. The acreage is less than 40% developed and includes just over 42,000 net acres are located in the Fort Berthold area and just over 38,000 acres are located in the Marmon area.

Proved reserves are estimated 42.4 mmboe, with total resource potential that Halcon believes is more than 100 mmboe. Approximately 88% of reserves and production are crude oil.

After the deal, Petro-Hunt will remain one of the largest acreage holders in the basin, with more than 600,000 acres of leasehold. The company will also retain production of more than 24,000 boe/d.

Bruce Hunt of Petro-Hunt commented:

"We are pleased to become a significant Halcon shareholder through this transaction. The track record of Halcon's management team speaks for itself and we are confident they will do a great job of developing these solid assets.

Halcon's CEO commented:

"This acquisition is immediately accretive on all measures and is consistent with our strategy of building an oil company with a multi-year drilling inventory in liquids-rich basins. The assets we are acquiring are located in what is arguably the most attractive oil producing basin in the lower 48, on a risk adjusted basis..."

Halcon's Williston Basin Assets Expand

Halcon Resources Bakken Acreage Pre-PetroHunt
Halcon Resources Bakken Acreage Pre-PetroHunt

Halcon now has more than 135,000 net acres prospective for the Bakken in the Williston Basin. The company recently provide an operational update on its Bakken assets and disclosed the company was targeting a position of 125,000+ acres. This deal puts them over that threshold, so I don't expect additional transactions of this magnitude any time soon. 95% of the acreage acquired will be operated by Halcon.

Halcon had three rigs running in the area and Petro-Hunt hds five rigs running the properties sold. The assumption all five rigs won't come with the acreage is fair, but don't be surprised if you see Halcon ramp up to 5 rigs or more going forward.

Halcon also outlined several areas it sees opportunity for improvement and value creation:

  • Reduce drilling days with pad drilling
  • Lower completion costs by lower frac fluid volumes
  • More effective completions
  • Install gas and oil gathering systems
  • Utilze Halcon on salt water disposal facilities