NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - Halcón Resources Corp's development of the oil-rich Tuscaloosa Marine Shale would be helped by a joint venture partner, but is not dependent on outside capital, CEO Floyd Wilson said on Thursday.
The company, which produces oil in North Dakota and Texas, has been slowly exploring the 316,000 acres it holds in Louisiana's Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS) and expects to drill at least 10 TMS wells this year at roughly $13 million each, far higher than wells in other shale formations.
Halcón's finances have been strained in recent quarters due to costly missteps in the Utica shale play in Ohio, leading Wilson to mothball development there.
The company's debt exceeds its market cap, and its cash reserves dropped to $366,000 in the first quarter from $2.83 million in the fourth quarter. Combining the cash and a credit facility, Halcón has access to about $452 million currently, executives said.
Bringing in a joint venture partner or soliciting an investment of another type would help the TMS development, but isn't crucial, Wilson told investors on a conference call.
"We are well equipped right now financially to deal with this play," said Wilson, who formed the company in 2011 and has publicly stated several times a goal of selling it once its operations are appealing enough to a prospective buyer. "We've got plenty of money right now." (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by David Gregorio)