Lucas Energy, an independent oil and gas company based in Houston, Texas, has said that it has closed the first part of an Eagle Ford Shale joint venture with Hilcorp Energy I, an affiliate of Hilcorp Energy Company, a privately owned oil and gas company in the US.

Hilcorp Energy I acquired part of the Lucas Energy deep rights (Eagle Ford rights) in Gonzales County, Texas and paid Lucas $7.52m at closing. The remainder of the Lucas Eagle Ford shale properties will be part of a second closing that is expected to take place later in this month.

The purpose of the joint venture with Hilcorp is the development of the Eagle Ford Shale properties owned by Lucas Energy in Gonzales County, Texas. Hilcorp is acquiring an 85% working interest in the deep rights, including the Eagle Ford Shale formation. Lucas will retain the remaining stake. The joint venture does not include any producing wells or current production.

William Sawyer, president and CEO of Lucas Energy, said: “This is a major leap forward for Lucas. Hilcorp is one of the finest oil and gas companies in the US today. We are proud to be a partner with them.

“Their expertise in drilling and completions will move our Eagle Ford program forward at a much faster pace than we could have done alone. The first thing we did with the capital was to pay off our Amegy Bank debt.”