Oklahoma business briefs for May 2, 2012

Oklahoma business briefs for May 2, 2012
Published: May 2, 2012
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OKLAHOMA BRIEFS

8 counties get faster Internet

Pioneer Cellular has launched the ability for access to speedier wireless service for customers in eight central and western Oklahoma counties. The expanded 4G coverage is available in Kingfisher, Okarche, Hennessey, Thomas, Watonga, and in southern and eastern Garfield County. Pioneer said additional coverage will be available within a few weeks in Enid, Weatherford, Clinton and on Interstate 40 from Oklahoma City to Clinton. Pioneer is a participant in the Verizon Wireless LTE in Rural America program, which is aimed at constructing and launching a 4G LTE network in rural areas of western and southern Oklahoma over the next 10 months. When completed, Pioneer's network will cover more than 260,000 people in 21 counties, the company said.

Osage plans new drilling effort

Osage Exploration and Development Inc. and its partners have secured a $10 million credit line with Apollo Investment Corp. to develop its acreage in Logan County. Osage is preparing an aggressive drilling schedule for this year and next year with partners Slawson Exploration and U.S. Energy Development Corp. “With the capital from the Apollo facility and the capital from a separate $2.5 million transaction announced last week, we believe that our entire Nemaha Ridge Horizontal Mississippian drilling project has been financed,” CEO Kim Bradford said. “Our momentum is clearly building as we continue to associate ourselves with the best in the business.”

EARNINGS

ONEOK INC.

Warmer winter weather cut into earnings for ONEOK Inc. as the natural gas distributor announced a first-quarter profit of $122.9 million. ONEOK, the parent company of Oklahoma Natural Gas, said that was lower than net income of $130.1 million for the first quarter of 2011. Earnings per diluted share were $1.16, compared to $1.19 in the year-earlier quarter. John W. Gibson, ONEOK chairman and CEO, said the company's ONEOK Partners unit posted strong results from favorable natural-gas liquids prices. Gibson said warmer than normal weather in Oklahoma and Kansas affected customer demand at its gas distribution segment.

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