Wells Drilled in STACK to Grow Over 46% from 2016 to 2017

The number of oil and gas wells drilled in Oklahoma is forecast to rise 46% in 2017 to over 1,350 wells, up from 935 in 2016.  The STACK, a relatively new play, was the most heavily drilled region in Oklahoma in 2016, and this trend will continue through 2018. The STACK (Sooner Trend, Anadarko, Canadian, Kingfisher) lies in central Oklahoma and is named for the basin (Anadarko) and main counties (Canadian and Kingfisher) that are contained in the region. These and other trends are presented in Oklahoma Oil & Gas Drilling Outlook, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

The unique growth trends seen in the STACK from 2014 to 2016 are attributable to multiple factors, including:

  • Age of the play: Substantial drilling activity did not begin in the STACK until 2010.
  • Rate of drilling: Even after drilling began in 2010, wells drilled did not reach unsustainable levels. In fact, drilling only fell between 2011 and 2014 as the transition from gas to oil wells occurred.
  • Geology: The STACK has multiple layers of resource-bearing rock, some of which is overpressured and contains low levels of water, allowing drilling to remain economical despite turmoil in benchmark prices.
  • Infrastructure: The STACK is located near the Cushing hub, a major distribution hub for oil and gas in the Midwest.

The number of wells drilled in the STACK is expected to grow over 46% from 2016 to 2017, increasing from 400 to 585 wells.  While this will not be the strongest growth rate in Oklahoma among commonly drilled plays, it continues a unique growth trend that is the opposite of drilling activity movements in the rest of the US.  Spurred by high IP rates, which result from the high pressure and low water content of the oil deposits in the STACK, the region has consistently grown through the downturn in oil benchmark prices.  Additionally, while many plays that experienced growth from 2016 to 2017 are expected to slow dramatically from 2017 to 2018, the STACK is expected to maintain one of the highest growth rates in the nation as wells drilled grows over 14%.

Oklahoma Oil & Gas Drilling Outlook (published 05/2017, 81 pages) is available for $2100 from The Freedonia Group.  For further details or to arrange an interview with the analyst, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600 or email pr@freedoniagroup.com.

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