Long before it became the 46th state, oil was discovered in Oklahoma by happenstance while drilling for brine to extract salt–a fundamental necessity of pioneer life. Nearly 160 years later, the Sooner State’s geology continues to surprise with a rich endowment of the oil and gas essential to the modern American way of life.

In fact, oil production and proved reserves have both more than doubled since 2005, when oil output had ebbed to its lowest level since shortly after Oklahoma was granted statehood in 1907. By year-end 2016, U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates indicate, Oklahoma had grown proved oil reserves to 1.7 billion barrels and proved gas reserves to 34.4 trillion cubic feet, 70 and 220 percent higher, respectively, than in 1981.

The turnabout in Oklahoma’s energy fortune is driven by the emergence of significant new resource plays that encompass both unconventional and conventional formations across the state. While the Hunton and Mississippian, Granite Wash/Cottage Grove, Maramaton, Caney Shale and other plays continue to attract operator interest, SCOOP and STACK quickly have become world-class horizontal hot spots. And a couple more names now can be added to industry lexicon: SCORE (Sycamore, Caney, Osage Resource Expansion) and Merge.

SCORE is the brainchild of Newfield Exploration Co., which discovered STACK in Canadian and Kingfisher counties in 2013, shortly after Continental Resources Inc. had announced its discovery of the adjacent SCOOP. With SCORE, Newfield is expanding development into multiple prospective horizons within its STACK acreage. The company also is among the early entrants in the Merge play in the Anadarko Basin region between SCOOP to the south and STACK to the north, effectively “merging” the two prolific trends. (by By Al Pickett Special Correspondent, American Oil & Gas Reporter)

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