The Oklahoma oil patch continues to attract new investors.
Houston-based oil and natural gas producer EnerVest Ltd. has expanded its interest in western Oklahoma as part of a series of recent acquisitions worth about $1.4 billion.
The 21-year-old oil and natural gas company said Monday it has begun or completed seven purchases since August. EnerVest's two largest deals were in western Oklahoma, totaling nearly $740 million.
The company paid $396 million to Laredo to buy 95,000 acres and 266 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent reserves. EnerVest is set to close by the end of the year on its $343 million purchase from SM Energy of 58,000 acres and 143 billion cubic feet equivalent of reserves.
The company also announced deals in Colorado, Texas and New Mexico.
EnerVest executives are excited about the potential in western Oklahoma, CEO John Walker said.
“I think there's always great opportunity when you have multiple formations. That's always been true for Oklahoma,” Walker said. “We're looking at the Granite Wash in the Anadarko Basin of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. There might be 12 different things we're looking at in those formations. That's what makes it so attractive.”
EnerVest has 24 employees in Oklahoma, where it operates 383 wells. After the purchases close, the company will operate more than 1,300 wells in the state.
While the company is bullish on its future in Oklahoma, not all EnerVest operations in the state have been positive.
An EnerVest well in Roger Mills County failed last month, spilling produced saltwater and other materials until cleanup trucks arrived an hour later. The company contained the spill within about three hours and shut in the well after about a week.
The company has conducted tests on the surface and local water wells, all of which showed no signs of contamination, EnerVest spokesman Ron Whitmire said Monday. The company has drilled two new water wells in the area and is testing those for contamination.
“All indications are that all the flow came back up the casing and had no contact with the groundwater,” Whitmire said. “We don't see any issues there at all.”