By Ernest Scheyder
NEW ORLEANS, March 24 More work needs to be done
to develop Halcón Resources Corp's oil and natural gas
assets before the company can be sold, Chief Executive Floyd
Wilson said on Monday.
Executives have long stated that their endgame for the
company, formed in 2011, would be a sale, although weak well
results in Ohio's Utica shale formation have hampered that goal.
The company's stock is down 45 percent in the past year.
"Our model is still to look for a sale at some point in the
future," Wilson said in an interview on Monday at the Howard
Weil energy conference in New Orleans. "Wall Street may or may
not like us at the moment, but I'm certain they'll recognize us
at some point."
Investors and analysts have been eager to see if Wilson can
replicate the feat he pulled off in 2011 when he sold Petrohawk
Energy to BHP Billiton Plc for $12.1 billion, a 65
percent premium over the share price before the sale was
In 2012, Wilson forecast that a sale of Halcón would take
place by 2015. Last fall, he modified that time frame, saying
any potential sale could come within "a few years."
Wilson said on Monday that his latest goal of a sale at some
point in the future was not a delay in the goal, but rather an
acknowledgment that the company has more work to do to attract a
"At some point in time it'll be appropriate to look for a
home for these properties," Wilson said.
Wall Street had grown anxious last year about the company's
preoccupation with its 142,000 Utica acres, most of which are in
a remote, northwest part of the shale formation far from where
larger rivals Chesapeake Energy Corp and Gulfport Energy
Corp are focusing.
Most of the wells drilled proved to not be up to Wall
Street's high expectations for prolific production.
Acknowledging the misstep, Wilson said the northern Utica
wells "were average" and Halcón is now looking at the potential
of its holdings in the southern part of the Utica.
"I'm not saying the Utica is dead, but we have other things
that are doing better," he said. "It's been a strategic shift in
that, as always is the case in oil and gas, you spend money
where you get the best returns."
Meanwhile, the company is devoting more than 90 percent of
its capital budget to holdings in North Dakota's Bakken and the
El Halcón play in Texas, he said.
"They've totally blossomed," Wilson said of the two shale
fields. "We're completely focused on these two plays at this
(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Paul Tait and Stephen