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Oklahoma oil company achieves production milestone

Oklahoma City-based Chaparral Energy Inc. reached a production milestone in May, when it produced 1 million barrels of oil equivalent in a month for the first time.
By Jay F. Marks, Business Writer Modified: August 15, 2014 at 8:00 pm •  Published: August 15, 2014

photo - 
A pump jack operates at Chaparral Energy Inc.’s Farnsworth enhanced oil recovery unit, one of six such projects in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles. Photo provided
A pump jack operates at Chaparral Energy Inc.’s Farnsworth enhanced oil recovery unit, one of six such projects in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles. Photo provided -

Chaparral Energy Inc. made history in May.

Chaparral produced 1 million barrels of oil equivalent that month, a first for the Oklahoma City-based oil and natural gas company founded in 1988.

“I think the company’s doing well,” CEO Mark Fischer said.

Fischer said he is proud of Chaparral’s performance, which has come after it reinvented itself as a Mid-Continent operator.

Chaparral recently sold its assets in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and New Mexico so it could focus on operations closer to home.

Fischer said Chaparral sold about 22 million barrels of oil equivalent in reserves, but he expects the company to make that back by the end of the year thanks to its continued success in Oklahoma.

Chaparral is on pace to boost its oil production by about 8 percent this year, despite its asset sales, he said.

Fischer said Chaparral had been close to 1 million barrels in a month recently, but never actually got there.

Fischer said about 21 percent of Chaparral’s May production came from its operations in northern Oklahoma’s Mississippian play.

Another large chunk came from Chaparral’s enhanced oil recovery projects, led by the historic North Burbank field in Osage County. Fischer described it as a “world-class project” that is the largest single oil unit in the state.

He said Chaparral has invested about $250 million in the project, which relies on injecting large amounts of carbon dioxide to free oil that was not produced by traditional means. The company began seeing significant response from its gas injections into the unit in March.

“Right now we’re up about 800 to 900 barrels of oil per day, over the base of about 1,250 to 1,300 barrels a day,” Fischer said. “By the end of the year, that 1,250 barrels a day should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,400 to 2,500.

“It’ll continue to rise until that 1,250 barrels a day is turned into 14,000 barrels a day through that program.”

He said an additional supply of carbon dioxide could boost production from North Burbank to 25,000 barrels a day.

“I can’t really give you details right now, but we’re looking at an opportunity to gain an additional 100 million cubic feet (of carbon dioxide) a day that would give us that boost that I just mentioned,” Fisher said. Chaparral currently has about 80 million cubic feet of carbon dioxide a day available for its operations under long-term contracts.

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