Continental Resources Inc. this week said it is ahead of schedule on its effort to triple production from 2012 to 2017.
In many ways, just as important to Oklahoma City is that to support that growth, the company must also boost employment.
Warren Henry, Continental's vice president of investor relations, this week told me the company's employment likely will “more than double and less than triple” from 2012 levels.
“We're going to need people at all levels of the organization,” he said. “Primarily we're going to need technical people — geologists, engineers, professionals and accounting and finance.”
The timing is right for the Oklahoma City job market as Chesapeake Energy Corp. has announced plans for restructuring.
Continental already has created hundreds of jobs in Oklahoma City.
The company now has about 850 employees, including about 550 at its downtown Oklahoma City headquarters. Employment has almost doubled since the company relocated from Enid less than two years ago, Henry said.
Continental executives have said they moved the company to Oklahoma City largely because they thought it would help them more easily recruit the large number of quality employees it would need to support growth.
That strategy appears to be working.
While Continental has created hundreds of jobs over the past two years, it has turned away many more applicants.
“We're getting thousands of applicants all the time,” Henry said.
Continental moved into the tower Devon Energy Corp. vacated when it built the Devon Energy Center two blocks away.
Henry said the building has room to accommodate several years of growth, but that something will have to happen if the pace of growth continues.
“It's not full, but we can see that coming down the road,” he said. “We've got to start thinking about other alternatives.”
Specifically what that means is still unclear.
Devon occupied parts of five downtown Oklahoma City buildings before it consolidated into its new tower.
“Obviously we want to keep our people as close as we can near downtown if they're going to be based in Oklahoma City,” Henry said. “We're going to have to think about alternatives.
“Our culture is such that if we start running out of room, we'll squeeze people in and make it work.”