PetroQuest buys stake in oil leases west of Baton Rouge

Lafayette-based PetroQuest Energy Inc. has acquired a 50 percent stake in 30,000 acres Midstates Petroleum Co. currently has under lease in Fleetwood, a few miles west of Baton Rouge, in a deal valued at $24 million.

PetroQuest will pay $10 million in cash and credit $14 million to Houston-based Midstates for future exploration activities in the oil-rich formation. Midstates estimates that the area contains the equivalent of more than 300 million barrels of oil.

PetroQuest will be the lease operator and plans to drill two exploration wells during the second half of the year, with additional wells to be drilled in 2015.

Midstates spokesman Chris Delange said the first two test wells will target the Cockfield and Lower Wilcox formations.

PetroQuest will develop the Cockfield formation using horizontal drilling. The formation has been successfully tested through 13 nearby vertical wells, which PetroQuest expects will each produce an average of 80,000 barrels of oil.

PetroQuest is an independent energy company engaged in the exploration, development, acquisition and production of oil and natural gas reserves in Louisiana, Texas, the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Arkoma Basin, which straddles the Arkansas-Oklahoma border.

PetroQuest had planned to spend $140 million to $150 million on its drilling program in 2014. As a result of the joint venture with Midstates, PetroQuest expects to spend $170 million to $180 million.