Natural gas price drops hurt Oklahoma companies

Warmer weather and still-increasing production have combined to cause natural gas prices to tumble.
by Adam Wilmoth Published: January 4, 2013

Relatively low prices over the past two years have led many of Oklahoma's energy producers to switch as quickly as possible from a focus on natural gas to an emphasis on oil. But natural gas continues to make up a significant amount of their production.

SandRidge Energy Inc. has boasted of its early forecasts and relatively quick switch, but natural gas still represents 47 percent of its production.

Chesapeake Energy Corp., previously known as “America's Champion of Natural Gas,” has said it plans to boost its oil and natural gas liquids to 35 percent of its production by 2015. As of August, however, natural gas and natural gas liquids still represented 87 percent of its mix.

Devon Energy Corp. historically has chosen a more balanced approach. Even still, the company produces 63 percent natural gas.

Continental Resources Inc. has the heaviest oil position among Oklahoma City's larger energy firms, but even “America's Oil Champion” has a 30 percent exposure to the low-price gas.

Many of the state's smaller companies are less able to change course and are even more dependent on natural gas.

While oil rich plays throughout the state have gained in popularity, Oklahoma continues to rely heavily on the price of natural gas.

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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