He expects the company to have close to 2 million acres of leasehold in the Mississippian by the end of the year, with an eye toward lining up another decade's worth of drilling opportunities.
“That means a very aggressive drilling schedule,” Ward said. “We'll have 45 rigs working in the Mississippian play in Oklahoma and Kansas in the next two years. Today we have 18. That's why you have very low unemployment in Oklahoma.”
Ward also said SandRidge will continue to focus on conventional plays like the Permian where drilling costs are lower because of the surplus of equipment available.
“I believe it's the most inexpensive play to drill in the United States that has scale,” Ward said.
About the same time SandRidge decided to turn its business model upside down, the company moved its base of operations to downtown Oklahoma City.
SandRidge has resided in downtown Oklahoma City since Ward swung a deal with former partner Aubrey McClendon to acquire the Kerr-McGee tower in July 2007.
Now the company is in the midst of a dramatic renovation plan that calls for construction of one new building at 120 Robert S. Kerr Ave. and replacement of six remaining structures with landscaped plazas.
The development dubbed “SandRidge Commons” is expected to add usable open space to downtown through the replacement of old blighted buildings while providing room for SandRidge's growing workforce.