While the oil and natural gas business can be highly competitive — especially while companies are all trying to buy up the best lease areas — cooperation is essential, said Herb Martin, vice president of strategic geosciences at Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy Corp., which also is part of the OSU consortium.
“Once the leases are established, there's a lot of benefit to working together. We can share the cost of pipelines, roads and collecting 3-D seismic data,” Martin said. “Early on in plays, people tend to be more careful about sharing information. But generally by the time you get to a point that a university or service company is putting together a consortium, there's a general understanding of who is where, and that competitive part has lessoned.”
Besides the immediate challenge of producing oil from the field, working together with universities has other benefits as well, Martin said.
“We have a good number of geologists at Devon who have graduated from Oklahoma State. We draw from them regularly,” he said. “I'm sure that in this consortium, they'll be looking at our cores and using some of our people to help put the information together. Then our guys will be looking at their grad students to see who would be good future Devon employees.”
Other members of the OSU Mississippi Lime consortium are Chesapeake Energy Corp., Longfellow Energy, Marathon Oil, Red Fork Energy, SandRidge Energy, SM Energy, TipTop Energy and Unit Energy.