• Report: Williams Cos. board to consider revised offer as early as this week

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Sep 23, 2015

    Williams Cos. board of directors could meet as early as this week to consider a revised offer from Energy Transfer Equity, according to an exclusive report from  Reuters  on Wednesday. The article states that ETE has changed its original all-stock offer to buy Williams. Under the new deal, ETE would pay for about 15 percent of the Tulsa-based pipeline company in cash. Reuters reported that its anonymous sources are cautioning that the exact amount of cash the deal could include is still being negotiated.

  • Tulsa startup Big Elk Energy Systems thrives as first anniversary approaches

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Sep 18, 2015

    Big Elk, the surname the 19th-century Osage leader gave to his descendants, has since been lost as the family’s last name. But last year, Geoff Hager, Chief Big Elk’s great-great-great grandson, brought the family name back in a different way. Hager is founder and general manager of the new west Tulsa-based pipeline equipment manufacturing company Big Elk Energy Systems LLC.

  • Report: Company could purchase Williams Cos. within two weeks

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Sep 17, 2015

    Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg issued a  report Wednesday  stating that Energy Transfer Equity LP could announce a takeover of Williams Cos. within 7 to 10 days. According to the anonymous sources in the Bloomberg story, ETE and Williams are in “advanced talks about a deal that could be announced in the next week and a half.” No deal has been finalized and could still fall through, the sources said.

  • Samson Resources files bankruptcy as shale bet sours

    Published: Thu, Sep 17, 2015

    Oil and gas driller Samson Resources Corp. filed for bankruptcy in Delaware Wednesday night, undone by a collapse in energy prices and billions in debt that KKR & Co. and other investors piled on to fund a 2011 takeover. Tulsa-based Samson and its owners were stung by the price drop that put money into the pockets of consumers through lower gasoline and heating costs, while driving other producers, such as Sabine Oil & Gas Corp. and Quicksilver Resources Inc., into Chapter 11. Samson’s filing is among the biggest energy bankruptcies in the U.S. this year, but it probably won’t be the last.

  • Remains exhumed in Osage County grave identified as Pawhuska oilman

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Sep 15, 2015

    PAWHUSKA — A body found in a shallow grave in rural Osage County last week has been identified as a Pawhuska oilman who disappeared after returning home from a local country club the previous weekend. The Osage County Sheriff's Office confirmed Tuesday that the remains belong to Ricky Holt, 46.  Two brothers — Jeremy Keith Reece, 31, and Tyler Wayne Reece, 18 — were arrested and charged in his death after the grave was found.

  • Houston company reportedly no longer interested in Williams Cos.

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Sep 14, 2015

    Well, scratch that. In case you missed it, late Friday afternoon Reuters reported that Spectra Energy is  no longer trying to buy Tulsa-based Williams Cos .   The Reuters reporter who  broke the story last month  that Spectra had joined the ring to buy Williams released Friday's article stating that's no longer the case. Both reports cite "people familiar" with the matter. According to the new report, the exit of Houston-based Spectra increases the likelihood that Energy Transfer Equity could succeed in buying Williams.

  • Oilman's apparent slaying leaves Pawhuska residents looking for answers

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Sep 10, 2015

    PAWHUSKA — The apparent slaying of a prominent oilman has left close friends desperate for answers and a tight-knit community in rural Osage County in shambles. Investigators with the Osage County Sheriff's Office spent Thursday exhuming a body from a shallow grave found the day before on private property near Pawhuska. Deputies are hesitant to speculate on the identify of the buried remains, but those close to the case are confident that the body belongs to Ricky Holt, a lifelong resident of Pawhuska who vanished over the weekend.

  • BIA director hears complaints from Osage County oil producers

    BY MICHAEL OVERALL, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Sep 9, 2015

    PAWHUSKA — For nearly two hours Wednesday, the head of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs stood behind a podium and listened to a conference room full of Osage County oil producers complain that his agency is squeezing them out of business. With several aides and attorneys seated nearby to help him answer questions, Michael Black was anticipating a tough crowd, with his agency involved in a tangled web of overlapping lawsuits in the county. In one case, property owners are suing the BIA for using allegedly outdated environmental standards from 1979 to issue drilling permits. But the proposed updated regulations sparked a federal lawsuit from the Osage Producers Association, alleging the new rules are so costly and cumbersome that they will effectively make oil production impractical.

  • Sarah Palin wants to be energy secretary if Trump wins

    Published: Sun, Sep 6, 2015

    Sarah Palin might reach the White House yet -- albeit for a short stay. The 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate on Sunday gamely answered the question about how she might serve in a Donald Trump administration by saying she wants to be the Energy secretary. “I think a lot about the Department of Energy, because energy is my baby,” Palin, a former governor of Alaska, told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Oil and gas and minerals, those (are) things that God has dumped on this part of the Earth for mankind's use, instead of us relying on unfriendly foreign nations, for us to import their resources.”

  • WPX Energy announces $185 million asset sale

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    Tulsa-based domestic energy producer WPX Energy will execute an $185 million asset sale, the proceeds of which will be used to start paying down debt from its recent purchase of RKI Exploration & Production LLC. WPX Energy announced Monday that it has agreed to sell a North Dakota gathering system for approximately $185 million to a private equity fund managed by the Ares EIF Group, a subsidiary of Ares Management LP.  The parties expect to close the transaction in approximately 60 days. The sale is part of WPX’s deleveraging plan targeting $400 million-$500 million in divestitures by the end of 2015. WPX is also targeting a similar sale in 2016.

  • Shale Pioneer Aubrey McClendon Seeks Global Profile in Australia Deal

    Published: Thu, Aug 20, 2015

    U.S. shale gas explorer Aubrey McClendon is negotiating a $100 million acquisition of Australian drilling rights in a move that marks the former Chesapeake Energy Corp. chief’s first foray overseas. McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP signed a letter of intent and a three-month exclusivity agreement with Armour Energy Ltd. to acquire a 75 percent stake in 21.5 million acres of drilling rights, Brisbane, Australia-based Armour said in a statement on Thursday.

  • Reports say Spectra Energy to enter arena for Williams Cos.

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Aug 17, 2015

    Williams Cos.' shares  rose more than 4 percent  to around $54.40 Monday following an exclusive  Reuters article  published Friday evening that reports Spectra Energy is going to make a bid to buy Williams in its entirety. Houston-based Spectra operates in three key areas of the natural gas industry — transmission and storage; gathering and processing; and distribution. Tulsa-based Williams announced in June that it was opening itself up to a "strategic alternatives" process that could include, among other things, a merger, a sale or continuing to pursue the company's existing growth plan.

  • A Gathering Place to switch construction managers; Crossland to replace Manhattan

    By Kyle Hinchey, Tulsa World | Published: Sat, Aug 15, 2015

    After completing initial phases for A Gathering Place for Tulsa, Manhattan Construction Co. has been replaced as the project's construction manager, according to a statement released Saturday. Manhattan, which was selected to manage the park's construction in May 2014, is being substituted for Crossland Construction Co. for the remainder of the project, the news release states. The initial phases — Pre-construction, utility and dirt work — already have been completed. The switch in management will not present noticeable changes to the budget or timeline of the park, according to the release, which is expected to be completed in 2017.

  • Reports: Tulsa energy company more than $4 billion in debt, expected to file bankruptcy soon

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Aug 13, 2015

    Reports are pegging this as the week that Samson Resources will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a move that insiders say the exploration and production company will make before a substantial interest payment comes due Saturday. Tulsa-based Samson is more than $4 billion in debt. The company must pay a $110 million interest payment on its bonds Aug. 15, but according to  a story from Business Insider , Samson “doesn’t have the money, can’t pay, and won’t pay.” Charles Schusterman founded Samson Resources during the 1970s.

  • Gov. Mary Fallin: Regulations won't have immediate impact on number of quakes

    BY BARBARA HOBEROCK, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Aug 5, 2015

    Gov. Mary Fallin on Tuesday said changes in regulatory policies governing disposal wells will not have an immediate impact on the number of earthquakes in the state. “I think it is important for the people of Oklahoma to understand that just because there is a change in regulatory policy doesn’t mean you are going to see an action next week or one month or two months or six months,” Fallin said. “It could be a year until we see a measurable difference. We are trying to figure out day by day what is the best thing to do.” She was complimentary of actions taken by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which required some disposal well operators to reduce volume and the depth of waste-water injections. Disposal wells have been tied to the increased number of earthquakes.

  • Puzzling area between Edmond, Guthrie illustrates one of many challenges facing earthquake experts

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Aug 3, 2015

    A perplexing swath of land between Edmond and Guthrie illustrates one of many challenges scientists and industry experts face in better understanding connections between wastewater disposal and Oklahoma’s surge in seismicity. The area doesn’t have the high-volume, deep-injection wells the Oklahoma Corporation Commission is targeting as the most likely to induce earthquakes, according to spokesman Matt Skinner. Back-to-back weekends of “very strong seismic activity” in June helped prompt the commission to ask operators of three wells in the area to halt, as well as a fourth not to restart operations, Skinner said.

  • ONEOK Partners to invest up to $100 million to expand capacity in Permian Basin

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jul 30, 2015

    ONEOK Partners LP announced Thursday plans to invest between $70 million and $100 million to expand the ONEOK WesTex Transmission intrastate natural gas pipeline system. The expansion project is located in the Texas Panhandle and the Permian Basin in West Texas. Plans would increase the system’s natural gas capacity by 260 million cubic feet per day by the first quarter of 2017. The expansion includes the construction of two new compressor stations and upgrades or expansions to three existing compressor stations.

  • QEP Resources to shut down Tulsa office; approximately 70 jobs affected

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jul 30, 2015

    Denver-based QEP Resources announced Thursday that it will be shutting down its regional office in Tulsa. Around 70 employees, most of them in technical jobs, work in the company's Tulsa office, said Brent Rockwood, a spokesman for the company. Approximately half of those employees will be given relocation offers at the crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company's headquarters in Denver. Others will be laid off.

  • WPX Energy CEO gives U.S. Senate hearing testimony supporting end of crude oil export ban

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Jul 28, 2015

    WPX Energy President and CEO Rick Muncrief spoke Tuesday on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., voicing the domestic oil and gas producer's "strong support" for lifting the United States government's four-decades old ban on the export of crude oil. Among other benefits, Muncrief said WPX Energy believes lifting the ban would boost the U.S. economy as well as strengthen the country's national security. Muncrief's testimony was part of a full committee hearing held by the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on "Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban." The ban has been in place since the Energy Policy and Conservation Act became law in 1975.

  • WPX Energy makes $2.75 billion move into oil-rich Permian Basin

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jul 15, 2015

    Tulsa-based WPX Energy Inc., which has been remaking itself from a natural gas firm to more of an oil producer, took a big leap in that direction by announcing a $2.75 billion acquisition in the Permian Basin of west Texas and eastern New Mexico. The announcement Tuesday indicated that WPX is acquiring RKI Exploration and Production LLC for $2.35 billion plus assumption of $400 million in debt. The move taps WPX into 92,000 net acres and an average 22,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in existing production — half of that in oil. The buy also expands WPX’s strategic focus to four basins in the western U.S. The others are the Williston in North Dakota, the Piceance in Colorado and the San Juan in New Mexico. The company has been working to divest itself from holdings in the natural gas-rich Marcellus Shale of the eastern U.S.