Low natural gas prices haven't put much of a dent in producers' drilling plans.
Officials from 10 oil and gas companies active in the Mid-Continent region outlined their operations Tuesday at an International Association of Drilling Contractors luncheon in Oklahoma City. They spoke to a packed house at Quail Creek Country Club.
Leading the way was Chesapeake Energy Corp., which is the most active driller in the United States.
“We plan to keep it that way for the foreseeable future,” said Steve Miller, Chesapeake's senior vice president of drilling.
Miller said Chesapeake had an
Miller said Chesapeake is going through a “massive reallocation effort” to shift its focus to oil and liquids rich resource plays.
“Soon we will have just 23 rigs drilling for gas,” he said.
SandRidge Energy Inc. already has completed its switch to oil and
Ron Goff, the company's vice president of drilling, said all of SandRidge's rigs are dedicated to liquids exploration, mostly in two plays.
The company has an average of 12 rigs working on vertical wells in West Texas' Permian Basin, with plans to drill 1,100 wells there this year.
SandRidge has 23 rigs in the Mississippian oil play in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas, but Goff said the company is ramping up to 33 rigs. He said SandRidge intends to drill 384 horizontal wells in the play this year.
Don Jennings, drilling manager for Devon Energy Corp., said almost all wells being drilled are horizontal.
“Oil is king,” he said. “We're all looking for oily plays.”
Jennings said Devon will spend about $850 million in western Oklahoma's Cana shale play this year, while putting a couple of rigs to work in the Mississippian to see if there is an opportunity for growth there.
Apache Corp. also intends to ramp up its operations in Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle after doubling its acreage with the acquisition of Cordillera Energy Partners, drilling manager Tom Williams said.
Williams said the company also intends to keep promoting natural gas.
“We haven't given up on natural gas,” Williams said. “We think it's going to be a viable energy source in the future.”
Linn Energy, Unit Corp., SM Energy and QEP Resources Inc. also are active in the region, representatives said.