Bill Barrett Corp. emerged as a new Denver-Julesburg (D-J) Basin focused E&P named HighPoint Resources Corp. (NYSE: HPR) following the completion of its strategic combination with Fifth Creek Energy Co. LLC on March 20, the Denver-based company said.

Bill Barrett previously entered into an agreement for the all-stock merger with NGP-backed Fifth Creek in December. The transaction, valued at $649 million by the companies, includes Fifth Creek’s assumption of $54 million in debt.

The companies' combination was expected to create a newly-formed, public E&P with a 151,100-net-acre position in the D-J Basin and an inventory of 2,865 undeveloped drilling locations— the majority of which are suitable for extended-reach laterals, according to regulatory filings.

CEO and President Scot Woodall said in a statement on March 19: "We have undergone a significant transformation over the past several years and are positioned to embark on an exciting new era for the organization as a premier, D-J Basin-focused company. Our new name recognizes the strategic direction of our company that is underpinned by high-quality oil assets and a returns-focused capital program that positions us for a period of significant growth in the coming years."

On March 22, newly-created HighPoint announced a 2018 capex of $500 million to $550 million with plans to grow production by roughly 80% year-over-year.

"Our guidance reflects a strong production profile comprised of greater than 40% production growth from our legacy Northeast Wattenberg asset and the growing contribution from the Hereford asset," Woodall said in a March 22 statement. "The capital program will be primarily internally funded, and we will increasingly allocate capital to higher-return projects in our core asset portfolio, while effectively managing liquidity and maintaining balance sheet flexibility."

Woodall added the company will focus this year on integrating the Hereford Field assets located mostly in Weld County, Colo., which were acquired through the Fifth Creek merger.

The three most recent Hereford wells brought online in December achieved average IP-30 rates of more than 1,000 boe/d (86% oil). The company plans to resume drilling and completion activity at Hereford in April, he said.