Houston company announces $6 million investment, 25 jobs

Published 5:38 pm Monday, June 9, 2014

NATCHEZ — A Houston-based oil company announced plans Monday to use the Natchez-Adams County Port to ship oil from nearby wells, an operation that could mean a $6 million investment and 25 jobs.

As part of an operational update of wells in Wilkinson County, Halcón Resources announced its midstream subsidiary, Halcón Field Services, has acquired rights to develop an oil-handling terminal at the port.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors approved last week a one-year option for 50-acres of the 478-acre county-owned industrial site, which was purchased in August 2013 for approximately $9 million.

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The company is the same entity that took out an option on four acres nearby in the Natchez-Adams County Port, Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ said.

The project will have a minimum of $6 million in investment and will use the local rail system and port facilities, Russ said.

“Their minimum investment must be $6 million, which will be tanks, pipes and equipment to operate their facility, and 25 jobs,” Russ said.

The area can expect the jobs to be filled in the next 12-18 months, Russ said.

Halcón released data about its Horseshoe Hill well in Wilkinson County, which is producing more than 1,500 barrels a day.

“That is a lot of oil per day,” Russ said.

Halcón spokeswoman Kelly Weber said the company’s plans for Natchez are in the early stages.

“What I can tell you is that this is a proactive move to position us for the future,” Weber said.

The Tuscaloosa Marine Shale is an oil and gas play in southwestern Mississippi, primarily being developed in Amite and Wilkinson counties.

Developers are tapping into the shale that served for many years as the source bed for traditional oil and gas exploration in Mississippi, but could not be accessed itself for technical reasons.

Oil and gas technology has progressed enough in recent years, however, that exploration and development of the shale is moving forward in earnest, and some industry watchers have projected a 10-year oil boom for the area will soon begin.

The Natchez site will be used to support operations in the areas where the play is developing.