PERRY — Devon Energy Corp. is trying to drill its way to its next big oil play.
The Oklahoma City-based oil producer is exploring about 650,000 net acres it has leased in northern Oklahoma with access to two potentially productive rock formations: the Mississippian limestone and Woodford Shale.
Devon officials hailed the Woodford's potential in the company's Aug. 7 earnings call, but it hasn't given up on the Mississippian either.
The company is evaluating various zones across its acreage position where the two plays overlap, Chief Operating Officer Dave Hager said Nov. 12 at the Jeffries Global Energy Conference in Houston.
“We think overall, the Woodford is going to be a little bit less geologically complex than the Mississippian is,” he said.
Devon was running 14 rigs in the play as 2013 wound down, with most of that activity focused on the area covered by its joint venture with Sinopec.
The Chinese firm committed $1.6 billion to fund Devon's drilling operations in several emerging oil plays as part of the deal struck in 2012.
The Mississippian-Woodford acreage covered by that deal is centered in Logan, Payne and Noble counties.
Devon planned to drill about 350 wells in the area last year.
It has not released its plans for this year.
Reporters get tour
The company offered reporters a tour of some of its operations Friday.
Devon is drilling five wells on one pad east of Perry.
Four of those will target the Woodford formation, while the other is a disposal well.
Mark Matalik, a drilling engineer supervisor, said Devon is leveraging its expertise in other shale plays to make its operations in the area more efficient.
He said the company drilled its first well there in June 2011, so it is still learning about the area.
Devon is gathering 3-D seismic data to help map the best places to drill, Matalik said.
Hager said Devon has de-risked about 100,000 net acres in the Woodford, but officials are optimistic that number will grow.
The company has identified the Woodford as an emerging oil play in its portfolio like its holdings in the Rockies.
Devon's focus is on five core oil- and liquids-rich areas spanning North America, from its new holdings in southern Texas to Canada's oil sands.
We think overall, the Woodford is going to be a little bit less geologically complex than the Mississippian is.”
Devon Energy Corp. Chief Operating Officer