Natural gas price surges past $6

by Adam Wilmoth Published: February 21, 2014
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Plummeting temperatures this winter have led to unexpected benefits for Oklahoma natural gas producers.

“Higher prices will give us the the additional capital to continue drilling,” producer Pete Brown said. “The more money we have, the more we spend on drilling new wells. We have four or five areas where we’re looking at drilling vertically.”

Brown is co-owner of Oklahoma City-based Cimarron Production Co. and Kingfisher-based operator Brown and Borelli Inc. Brown and his companies focus on conventional, vertical wells.

The price of natural gas slipped 1.4 percent Thursday to close at $6.06 per thousand cubic feet. The day before, the fuel closed at $6.15, its highest level since December 2008.

The recent surge has been fueled by a colder-than-normal winter, especially along the East Coast. Prices are expected to retreat in the coming months, but Brown said producers hope they don’t fall too far.

“I think this price over $6 might be a little optimistic to think it will stay at this level, but it will keep at a level strong enough for us to drill,” Brown said. “I’m not sure the price will drop back below $4 again.”

While companies have scrambled in recent years to recover higher-priced oil, the state typically produces far more natural gas than oil.

“Normally the mix in revenues was two-third natural gas and one-third oil. Recently that has flipped,” Brown said. “That has a profound effect on the state of Oklahoma. There will be quite a bit more coming in.”

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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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At a glance

Price rises

to strong level

Natural gas front-month futures price per thousand cubic feet

Wednesday: $6.15

April 2012: $1.90

June 2008: $13.35

Higher prices will give us the the additional capital to continue drilling. The more money we have, the more we spend on drilling new wells. We have four or five areas where we’re looking at drilling vertically.”

Pete Brown,
Co-owner of Cimarron Production Co.

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