The state’s booming oil and natural gas industry has fueled a new company.
Edmond-based Tall Oak Midstream formed this month with a $100 million boost from San Antonio, Texas-based EnCap Flatrock Midstream.
“Our whole team is from Oklahoma or lives in Oklahoma now,” CEO Ryan D. Lewellyn said. “We look forward to making partnerships with Oklahoma producers and service providers.”
Lewellyn formerly was managing director of Denver-based DCP Midstream. He and Chief Commercial Officer Carlos P. Evans developed the idea of Tall Oak during an Oklahoma City Thunder game about a year ago.
“We both had been individually approached by a few investment capital firms to form a midstream company,” Lewellyn said. “The right opportunity came together with EnCap about six months ago. Carlos and I felt comfortable, so we developed a team of young, experienced energy executives that complimented each other well.”
Evans previously was manager of gas sales for Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. Chief Operating Officer Lindel R. Larison also joined Tall Oak from Chesapeake, where he was manager of construction and engineering. Chief Financial Officer Max J. Myers joined Tall Oak from OGE Energy Corp., where he served as treasurer.
Tall Oak is a midstream company focused on natural gas gathering and processing.
“We’re in discussions with producers as to where we will be,” Lewellyn said. “The Midcontinent is the area we know best, but there are quite a few Oklahoma City producers who do business outside the Midcontinent who have shown a lot of interest in our services in the Permian, Marcellus and Utica plays.”
Tall Oak illustrates a growing trend in the oil and natural gas industry of new and existing companies finding plenty of willing investors in the private equity market. Edmond financial adviser Greg Womack said the trend is likely to continue.
“You have companies called business development companies that are putting together these energy plays,” said Womack, president of Womack Investment Advisers Inc. “They’re going after all the different phases of the energy sector. There is huge demand, and the income stream is very high in a low interest-rate environment.”
The market is seeing especially strong demand for midstream companies like Tall Oak.
“There are a lot of plays out there to be had,” Womack said. “Companies are finding record amounts of oil due to proving up the technology of fracking, and they have to have a way to store it and transport it.”