SandRidge reaping rewards of switch to oil

SandRidge saw revenue increase a state-best 75.9 percent the past year.
BY JAY F. MARKS jmarks@opubco.com Published: November 13, 2011
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SandRidge Energy Inc.'s decision to morph itself into an oil company is paying dividends.

CEO Tom Ward said the shift that began in 2008 has fueled the Oklahoma City company's success.

SandRidge ranked No. 3 on this year's Oklahoma Inc. list of top public companies in the state, with a best-in-Oklahoma 75.9 percent increase in revenues over last year.

SandRidge recently celebrated its 180-degree turn as an exploration and production company with a new logo and slogan.

“Our focus will continue to be oil,” Ward said. “It's very difficult to change focus like we did.

“Crude oil is a world market and that's what we want, to be able to sell into a world market.”

Eighty percent of SandRidge's production was natural gas in 2008, when prices dropped precipitously. The company hedged all of its future gas production and set about amassing oil assets.

Ward said SandRidge has focused on low-risk oil targets in shallow reservoirs that can be reached with conventional wells.

“We've always tried to find things that other people weren't necessarily doing at the time,” he said.

Ward said areas like the Permian Basin in Texas and Mississippian play in Oklahoma and Kansas were overlooked by other producers eager to find the next big unconventional play.

He said SandRidge liked the production history and good permeable rocks in those areas.

Producers have been finding oil in the Permian for more than 80 years, while the Mississippian has been productive for more than 30 years.

Ward said SandRidge has a 10-year inventory of drilling sites in the Central Basin Platform of the Permian.