The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association's new home is built with stones meant to evoke the ones that produce oil and natural gas.
Some look like limestone, sandstone or shale. There are even black vertical lines near the front entrance to the building at 500 NE 4 that mimic a well bore.
“We've included those both inside and out,” association President Mike Terry said.
The three-story building features views of the state Capitol and downtown Oklahoma City. Terry said it was designed to limit the noise from nearby Interstate 235 and N Lincoln Boulevard.
The location gives the association and its members ready access to the Capitol and regulators at the Corporation Commission.
Terry said the building is meant to be accessible to members, lawmakers and regulators. It has conference space and extra offices that will be available as needed.
Officials credit Continental Resources Inc. CEO Harold Hamm with putting the organization on its way to building a home of its own when he was the group's chairman in 2006.
“I think it's a perfect location for what we needed, a free-standing location with lots of visibility,” Hamm said. “We're really pleased with it.”
Hamm said the idea of building a permanent home for the association was adopted quickly by members, but it took a long time to raise the money needed to proceed without incurring any debt.
“It's been a labor of love by many,” he said.
Hamm praised “champions” like Ronnie Irani, who headed the construction committee, and others who helped raise money for the project.
He said Continental's initial pledge was matched by Devon Energy Corp. and Chesapeake Energy Corp., but many contributed to making the project a reality.
Terry said about two dozen major donors will be honored with plaques in Legacy Hall on the third floor of the new building. A wall in the lobby will be dedicated to all of the projects' donors, which number about 130.
Terry said it was tough to raise money for the project during the recession, but industry leaders persevered.
“They wanted this to happen,” he said.
The group spent $500,000 to acquire the land from the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority. The 23,000-square-foot building, which was designed by Davis Design Group and built by Landmark Construction, cost $5.1 million.
“It's going to be a great space,” Terry said.
The group is sharing its new home with the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board, which has its offices on the first floor. OIPA occupies the second.
“The OERB staff is excited to begin a new chapter near downtown Oklahoma City,” OERB Executive Director Mindy Stitt said. “Whether we are hosting Oklahoma teachers for an event or providing the public with informational seminars about the oil and natural gas industry, this new space will allow the OERB to better support the people it serves.”
Both groups moved into their new homes last week from rented space at Landmark Towers, near Portland Avenue and Northwest Expressway.