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Oklahoma still an oil, gas state

Oklahoma continues to be home to plenty of oil and natural gas activity.
BY JAY F. MARKS Published: December 21, 2012

Oklahoma is continuing to live up to its reputation as an oil and natural gas state in 2012.

Drilling activity has increased this year as producers found opportunities to search for oil after natural gas prices hit decade-low levels in the spring.

“Our 2012 activity level in Oklahoma has averaged about seven rigs for the year, and we have made a major shift out of gas-prone areas into our new SCOOP area, which we feel will become a large, repeatable, oil-prone resource play,” Continental Resources Inc. President Rick Bott said.

In October, Continental unveiled the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province, a field it has dubbed the SCOOP.

The play, which covers most of four counties, is a portion of the Woodford Shale located below fields tapped decades ago by some of the biggest names in Oklahoma's oil-rich history.

“From midyear 2013, we plan to ramp up our activity in the SCOOP area and end the year with 12 to 15 rigs running,” Bott said. “We are focusing on improving efficiencies and reducing costs in our operations.

“We see measured but steady economic activity as drilling and production increases and the industry builds out support infrastructure.”

Many of the state's largest oil and natural gas companies have made Oklahoma a focal point of their operations.

SandRidge Energy Inc. appears to be staking its future on the emerging Mississippi Lime play in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

SandRidge, which already is the leading producer in the play, announced this week it is selling much of its holdings in West Texas' Permian Basin to focus on the Mississippi Lime. Greg Dewey, SandRidge's vice president of communications and community relations, said that will be good for the state.

“We intend to drill 570 horizontal wells in the Mississippi Lime in 2013; 370 of those wells will be in northwest Oklahoma,” Dewey said. “At $3 million a well, we project generating over a billion dollars of economic activity in that area of our state alone.”

Devon Energy Corp. also is ramping up activity in the Mississippi Lime, with prolific operations in western Oklahoma's Cana-Woodford Shale. The company reported increased production from both plays in 2012.

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