Oklahoma Inc.: Unit Corp. relies on all segments of business

It took a team effort to propel Tulsa's Unit Corp. into the top tier of Oklahoma companies this year.
BY JAY F. MARKS jmarks@opubco.com Published: November 13, 2011
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Pinkston said natural gas and liquids are plentiful in the areas where Unit operates, so the company didn't have to acquire any new acreage when it shifted its efforts away from gas.

“We had a lot of acreage that had liquids potential,” he said.

Unit produced nearly 11,000 barrels of oil equivalent between July 2010 and June 2011, with liquids accounting for 40 percent of that figure.

Pinkston said Unit's production is up about 15 percent, but he expects that figure to go higher over the next 12 months.

The performance of Unit's midstream business, its third segment, tends to follow the health of the oil and gas industry as a whole, he said. The majority of its operations involve third-party operators.

Pinkston said Unit is building gas processing plants at unprecedented rates, mostly to serve producers in the growing Mississippian play in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

“We're seeing opportunities right in our back door that we've never seen before,” he said.

Pinkston said he looks forward to increased domestic oil and gas production as the United States tries to become less dependent on foreign oil. He doesn't expect natural gas prices to rebound soon, but eventually prices will rise enough to spur additional drilling for the commodity he views as the best available alternative to oil.

“The country will wake up to it sooner or later,” Pinkston said.