SandRidge celebrates 5th anniversary

SandRidge Energy Inc. celebrated its fifth anniversary and its conversion to a company focused on oil production.
BY JAY F. MARKS jmarks@opubco.com Published: September 17, 2011
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SandRidge Energy Inc. has been in existence for only five years, but it is no longer the same company CEO Tom Ward crafted from the small production company he moved from Amarillo in 2006.

In its infancy, SandRidge focused on producing natural gas in west Texas, but Ward recognized a paradigm shift in the industry in 2008 that spurred the company's conversion.

“A dramatic change happened in oil,” he said Thursday in an interview with The Oklahoman. “As you look back on this, the risk in that play was that gas would come back and oil might rise, but wouldn't rise in a faster fashion than natural gas.

“It was a bold step.”

But time has proved SandRidge correct, as the historic ratio between oil and gas prices no longer exists.

“That's what we call our U-turn,” Ward told SandRidge employees Friday in a ceremony marking the company's anniversary. “Oil is our future.”

Ward insists the future is bright for SandRidge, with a new office complex under construction downtown and a new logo unveiled Friday.

“We are in the best financial shape that we have ever been in,” he said.

SandRidge's strategy for the next three years is to triple the company's earnings and double its oil production while cutting its debt ratio. The company also will employ three times as many people.

Ward said SandRidge expects to be able to fund its capital expenditure budget with cash flow by 2014.