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Oklahoma energy briefs

Oklahoma energy briefs
Oklahoman Published: August 14, 2014
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Man sentenced in wire fraud

A Texas man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for wire fraud involving a Carter County disposal well. Jimmy Dale Strahan, 63, had been accused of falsely representing the prospects of his company, Yellowjacket Energy Services Inc., which has leasing rights to a saltwater disposal well in Carter County. Strahan sold shares in the company by claiming it was run by a management team with strong oil and natural gas industry experience, but none of them actually were involved in the company, according to federal prosecutors. He used investors’ money to cover his gambling debts and several months of service from a paid escort. Strahan, who lives in Pottsboro, Texas, was sentenced Aug. 4 to 27 months in prison. He also must pay more than $685,000 in restitution.

Lopez joins ITC Holdings’ board

Dave Lopez, who recently served as interim superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools, has been appointed to the board for ITC Holdings Corp., the Michigan-based company announced this week. ITC and its subsidiaries own and operate high-voltage transmission facilities in seven states, including Oklahoma. “Dave brings a deep understanding of the factors impacting the energy industry and the critical role that electric transmission and a strong power grid plays in driving economic growth,” ITC CEO Joseph L. Welch said in a news release. Lopez also served as Oklahoma’s secretary of commerce.

Price is set for Gulfport offering

Gulfport Energy Corp. has priced an offering of $300 million in senior notes. The company originally began selling $250 million in senior notes to qualified institutional investors earlier this week, but increased the size of the offering on Wednesday. The offering is expected to close Monday. Gulfport intends to use proceeds to repay debt and for general corporate purposes.

BNK begins second well in state

BNK Petroleum Inc. began its 2014 U.S. drilling program in Oklahoma, the California-based company announced this week. BNK’s first well is being completed, with an eye toward beginning production next month. Drilling of its second well began Aug. 6. CEO Wolf Regener said BNK’s earlier Caney wells continue to perform above expectations, combining to produce more than 550 barrels of oil equivalent a day during the first six months of the year. The company’s first three planned wells are being drilled in sections adjacent to those wells. “With the recently announced $100 million reserve-based credit facility and the equity financing in the first quarter, we intend to continue our 2014 U.S. Caney formation drilling program beyond the three previously announced wells,” Regener said.

Koch Pipeline makes donation

Koch Pipeline Co. recently announced it will donate 225 feet of pipe to the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology. The pipe, worth more than $11,000, will be used by students in a new pipeline integrity technology program designed to support the growing energy industry. Students will use the pipe in laboratory environments to solve real-world scenarios. The OSUIT program is the only two-year degree program in the country that teaches both corrosion control and pipeline integrity. “What sets this degree program apart from others is its applied method of teaching. We couldn’t do that as cost effectively without generous donations such as this one from Koch Pipeline Co.,” said Joe Bartlett, an OSUIT pipeline integrity instructor and 25-year veteran of the pipeline industry. “Koch Pipeline is a valuable industry partner and we are very thankful for their commitment to quality education.”

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