Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX) announced positive drilling results from the Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas (FM O&G) 100-percent-owned Horn Mountain Deep well in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Initial production from this well, which will be tied back to existing facilities, is expected in first half 2017. This well, combined with two follow on development wells at Horn Mountain Deep, may be capable of producing an aggregate of 30,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day (BOE/d).

During September 2015, the Horn Mountain Deep well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 16,925 feet. Logging while drilling logs indicated that the well encountered a total of approximately 142 net feet of Middle Miocene oil pay with excellent reservoir characteristics. In addition, these results indicate the presence of sand sections deeper than known pay sections in the field. The 100-percent-owned Horn Mountain production facilities in FM O&G’s Mississippi Canyon area are capable of processing 75 MBbls of oil per day. The positive results at Horn Mountain Deep and our geophysical data support the existence of prolific Middle Miocene reservoir potential for several additional opportunities in the area, including the 100-percent-owned Sugar, Rose, Fiesta, Platinum and Peach prospects. FM O&G controls rights to over 55,000 acres associated with these prospects.

Since commencing development activities in 2014 at its three 100-percent-owned production platforms in the Deepwater GOM, FM O&G has drilled 12 wells, all with positive results. Three of these wells have been brought on production, and FM O&G plans to complete and place the remaining additional wells on production in late 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The success at Horn Mountain Deep follows the positive drilling results announced in July 2015 from three wells drilled in the Horn Mountain area, including the Quebec/Victory (QV), Kilo/Oscar (KO) and Horn Mountain Updip tieback prospects. In aggregate, these wells may be capable of producing over 27,000 BOE/d, with initial production expected in mid-year 2016.

Also during the third quarter of 2015, FM O&G drilled its second successful development well at its 100-percent-owned King field, located in Mississippi Canyon south of the 100-percent-owned Marlin facility in 5,200 feet of water. A third development well is in progress. In aggregate, these wells may be capable of producing 20,000 BOE/d, with initial production expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2015. FM O&G’s Marlin production facilities in the Mississippi Canyon focus area are capable of processing 60 MBbls of oil per day.

Completion activities of the previously drilled three well program at the 100-percent-owned Holstein Deep field are progressing on schedule with first production expected by mid-year 2016. In aggregate, the three wells are estimated to commence production at approximately 24,000 BOE/d. A fourth well is being planned as part of the second phase of the Holstein Deep program. FM O&G’s Holstein production facilities in the Green Canyon focus area are capable of processing 113 MBbls of oil per day.

FM O&G will continue the successful strategy to focus on its high return, low-risk tieback projects using its existing Deepwater GOM infrastructure (total processing capacity of approximately 250 MBbls of oil per day) and large Deepwater GOM project inventory (over 150 undeveloped locations). FM O&G will carefully managing capital during this challenging market environment.

FCX is a premier U.S.-based natural resources company with an industry-leading global portfolio of mineral assets, significant oil and gas resources and a growing production profile. FCX is the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer.

FCX’s portfolio of assets includes the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia, one of the world’s largest copper and gold deposits; significant mining operations in the Americas, including the large-scale Morenci minerals district in North America and the Cerro Verde operation in South America; the Tenke Fungurume minerals district in the DRC; and significant U.S. oil and natural gas assets in the Deepwater GOM, onshore and offshore California and in the Haynesville natural gas shale, and a position in the Inboard Lower Tertiary/Cretaceous natural gas trend onshore in South Louisiana. (Original Source)

Shares of Freeport-McMoRan closed last Friday at $9.80. FCX has a 1-year high of $32.92 and a 1-year low of $7.76. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $10.27 and its 200-day moving average is $16.55.

On the ratings front, FCX has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on September 24, Macquarie analyst Aldo Mazzaferro maintained a Buy rating on FCX, with a price target of $18, which represents a potential upside of 83.7% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on September 21, Jefferies Co.’s Chris LaFemina reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $17.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Aldo Mazzaferro and Chris LaFemina have a total average return of -25.6% and -19.7% respectively. Mazzaferro has a success rate of 6.7% and is ranked #3657 out of 3759 analysts, while LaFemina has a success rate of 0.0% and is ranked #3545.

The street is mostly Bullish on FCX stock. Out of 8 analysts who cover the stock, 6 suggest a Buy rating and 2 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $19.00, which represents a potential upside of 94% from where the stock is currently trading.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc, formerly Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, deals in the mining of copper, gold and molybdenum.