HOUSTON -- Floyd Wilson , the chairman and chief executive of Halcón Resources Corp . (NYSE: HK), began his energy career in 1970. In almost 45 years in varying roles, he has faced a multitude of challenges. While the scopes of the difficulties have shifted over the years, Wilson will tell you that challenges are omnipresent.

Wilson talked about some of the roadblocks that his company and the industry are facing at a Winter NAPE conference earlier this month. He emphasized that the greatest challenges are of an internal nature.

“We’re in the midst of a savage fight to reduce well costs, while at the same time we’re in a relentless push to increase efficiencies to find the perfect frac job for each area and create significant returns on capital investment,” he said. “And then there’s a problem of what we’re going to do with the new barrels we will be producing, and probably an even more daunting problem – what to do with the future barrels we expect to produce.

“Capital requirements are another challenge to our business. In our business you’re way out front with investments and acreage expertise and drilling wells before you see returns. If you’re public, often the time frame for value creation doesn’t really coincide with investor sentiment or their needs.”

External challenges also come into play, Wilson said.

“Sometimes things just change. Maybe an industry gets too good too quickly and commodity prices come under pressure, or new regulations come into effect or politics comes into the conversation.”

And then, there are challenges having to do with the environment.

“I’m asked a lot what my answer or what Halcón’s answer is to the environmentalists. I can tell you that this pisses me off. My answer is that I’m an environmentalist, and Halcón is more environmentally aware than many of the self-described environmentalists. But I did drive here today. I did turn on my lights at home and I’m going to put some ice in my cocktail, so I’m a realist. I think realists can also be environmentally sensitive people.”

Any talk about challenges must be accompanied by a discussion about opportunities, “and we have so many in our business and so many in our country,” Wilson said. “If you can find some money and you can master or develop some technology; if you can talk some good people into working for you;