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Oil, gas production gains had roots in Oklahoma

Modified: December 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm •  Published: December 12, 2012
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Oil, gas production gains had roots in Oklahoma

The recent sharp surge in U.S. oil and natural gas production, fueled by improved drilling techniques including horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, picked up steam in 2002 when Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy Corp. bought The Woodlands, Texas-based Mitchell Energy for $3.5 billion.

Mitchell developed many of the techniques while drilling for natural gas in the Barnett Shale beneath and around Fort Worth. Devon enhanced and expanded the horizontal drilling program throughout the Fort Worth basin.

Other companies then applied the techniques throughout the country, first on similar natural gas shale formations.

Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources Inc. applied similar techniques on the Bakken Shale oil field in North Dakota and Montana, which is now one of the fastest-growing oil fields in the world.