HOUSTON, Jan. 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lucas Energy, Inc. (NYSE:LEI), an independent oil and gas company (the "Company" or "Lucas"), today announced that over the past 45 days it has conducted a series of work overs on its operated wells and has increased total production from an average of 260 barrels of oil per day in December 2012 to approximately 330 barrels of oil per day as of the end of January 2013.
Additionally, in an effort to reduce expenses moving forward, Lucas has reduced its staffing levels approximately 40%, including both office and operational personnel. Over the course of calendar 2013, Lucas hopes to reduce its total general and administrative expenses by approximately 40% from the same period in 2012. A total decrease in general and administrative expenses of approximately $1.7 million (annualized) has already been completed with another $0.5 million anticipated to come off the books as contracts expire during the remainder of calendar 2013. Reductions in Lease Operating Expenses are being studied and will be implemented where warranted.
The Company will continue to seek opportunities to operate more efficiently as it reviews alternative strategies to deliver value to its shareholders. During the final quarter of fiscal year 2013, Lucas will focus on the following goals: to become a cash-flow positive entity; to resolve the pending legal proceedings; to increase efficiency through the utilization of existing systems and infrastructure; and to evaluate and develop low-risk, low cost opportunities to increase production, while also re-evaluating the overall capital and development strategy required to realize the full potential of the Company's asset base. The Company owes a debt of gratitude to the employees of Lucas who are working tirelessly to accomplish these goals, whose efforts are greatly appreciated.On January 28, 2013, the Company entered into a Settlement Agreement with Seidler Oil & Gas, L.P. ("Seidler"). Seidler had previously filed a lawsuit against the Company on August 13, 2012, in the District Court for the 25th Judicial District of Texas, located in Gonzales County, Texas (Cause No. 25,052). Pursuant to the settlement and in an effort to avoid protracted and costly litigation, Lucas agreed to, among other things, release certain suspended revenues to Seidler; enter into a joint operating agreement with Seidler; together with Seidler, to return to Seidler and certain private investors approximately $1.38 million in connection with the Hagen Unit 5-H well (the "5-H well"), which well was never drilled; and defend, together with Seidler, any claims associated with certain entities bringing claims against Seidler or Lucas in connection with the 5-H well.