Gulfport Energy Corp. searching globe for oil

CEO Jim Palm said 90 percent of Gulfport's production is oil, including sweet crude from Louisiana that sells at about a $25 premium to the West Texas Intermediate produced in Oklahoma and surrounding states.
BY JAY F. MARKS jmarks@opubco.com Published: November 13, 2011

Gulfport Energy Corp. is all about finding crude oil, no matter where it has to go to find it.

The Oklahoma City-based company is active in Louisiana, Texas, Colorado and Ohio, with international operations in Thailand and Canada's oil sands.

“We've actually always had an oil bias,” Gulfport Chief Financial Officer Mike Moore said.

Moore said the company continues to try to identify more oily plays to add to its asset base.

That likely helped Gulfport rise to No. 2 on the Oklahoma Inc. list of the state's top companies, fueled by a 150.3 percent increase in total returns.

Gulfport was No. 7 on the list last year, making it one of only four companies to maintain a place in the top 10.

CEO Jim Palm said 90 percent of Gulfport's production is oil, including sweet crude from Louisiana that sells at about a $25 premium to the West Texas Intermediate produced in Oklahoma and surrounding states.

Palm said he is optimistic that Gulfport's production will increase in the future because of its investment in Grizzly Oil Sands LLC, a joint venture with a Connecticut hedge fund.

Officials have identified about 2 billion barrels of recoverable oil in Grizzly's holdings, despite only exploring about 35 percent of its acreage.

Production in Canada is set to begin in 2013 after a $400 million facility is completed there. Gulfport officials said the company's share of that expense is manageable.