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Between the hedges: Outside investors in Oklahoma energy companies helped fuel growth

Recent shareholder action has focused attention on New York hedge funds and other outside groups that have funded oil and natural gas activity in Oklahoma for decades.
by Adam Wilmoth Modified: May 16, 2013 at 8:00 pm •  Published: May 17, 2013

Simple answer: Money.

Oil and natural gas operations are not cheap.

A single horizontal well can cost $10 million. Power lines, water disposal systems, lease purchases and other costs add millions more.

Oklahoma City's four large, publicly traded energy companies all have billion-dollar annual drilling budgets.

Devon Energy Corp. last year completed its $750 million headquarters buildings.

There's just not that much money in Oklahoma. Or in most states, for that matter.

When SandRidge in 2007 announced plans for its initial public offering, the company said it was making the move in part to raise money to accelerate drilling and to pay for other capital expenditures.

Oklahoma-based initial public offerings raised almost $3 billion from 2005 through 2007 alone, including deals for SandRidge and Continental Resources Inc.

That's money flowing from throughout the country into Oklahoma, funding jobs, construction projects, tax revenue and all other parts of the state economy.

by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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