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Pressure to cut costs drives energy producers to drill for answers

Energy production is an expensive pursuit, but companies' costs are under growing scrutiny. Energy producers discussed their concerns Tuesday at the Oklahoma State University Energy Conference in Oklahoma City.
by Adam Wilmoth Published: April 24, 2013
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/articleid/3801442/1/pictures/2032448">Photo - David Lawler, SandRidge executive vice president of operations and chief operating officer, speaks  at the Oklahoma State University Energy Conference in Oklahoma City. Photo By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman
David Lawler, SandRidge executive vice president of operations and chief operating officer, speaks at the Oklahoma State University Energy Conference in Oklahoma City. Photo By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman

Halliburton also is experimenting with controlling fracking operations from field offices rather than from each remote well site.

Making a difference

The effort of Halliburton and the hundreds of other fracking companies and contractors throughout the country is making a difference, said David Lawler, chief operating officer at Oklahoma City-based SandRidge Energy Corp.

Through the combined efforts of contractors and SandRidge's own improvements, the Oklahoma City company last year shaved about $500,000 off the cost of each well in the Mississippi Lime field in northern Oklahoma.

The company plans to drill 600 wells this year, meaning the upgrades will save SandRidge at least $300 million.

“There's a finite resource in the ground. Your cost is where you can gain a competitive advantage and drive returns,” Lawler said at the energy conference.

Spending for savings

Besides the benefits from contractors, SandRidge has generated its own savings by investing in electric and pipeline infrastructure throughout the area.

In early 2012, about 35 percent of SandRidge's Mississippi Lime wells were powered by diesel-fueled electric generators, Lawler said. Today, that number is down to 13 percent, and half of the remaining wells are powered by natural gas instead of diesel.

“What we're trying to do is stack all these things together. That will make the company successful,” Lawler said.

“We're looking at multiple aspects to every step in the process.”

by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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There's a finite resource in the ground. Your cost is where you can gain a competitive advantage and drive returns.”

David Lawler,
Chief operating officer at

SandRidge Energy Corp.

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