IHS: Anadarko Basin emerges as top onshore play outside of Permian

  • Jan 11, 2019
  • Fuel Fix

Oklahoma's Anadarko Basin has emerged as the most prolific onshore oil and gas play outside of West Texas' booming Permian Basin.

A new report from the research firm IHS Markit estimates the basin, which extends a bit into the Texas Panhandle, still holds an estimated 16 billion barrels of oil and more than 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

"We are now witnessing a new kind of Oklahoma land rush. But unlike what happened in 1889 when lands were opened to settlement, this time the competition is for access to the energy resources that lie below the surface," said John Roberts, IHS Markit executive director for global subsurface operations.

The region previously boomed in the 1970s and into the 1980s, but modern horizontal drilling techniques coupled with hydraulic fracturing, called fracking, are pushing Oklahoma to new oil production records.

The majority of the activity in the basin is focused on the shale rock plays known as the SCOOP - South Central Oklahoma Oil Province - and STACK - Sooner Trend Anadarko Canadian and Kingfisher (counties) - plays.

Oklahoma is now second to Texas nationwide in the number of rigs actively drilling with 140, above third-place New Mexico's 105 rigs. New Mexico has boomed as well because the Permian extends into the southeastern portion of the state.

And the new Oklahoma land rush is still in its relative infancy, according to IHS Markit.

"As it stands now, only about 20 percent of the Anadarko Basin's STACK 'sweet-spot' locations have been drilled or developed," Roberts said. "The play is still in its early stages of unconventional development. We can easily envision an additional 4,000 to 5,000 horizontal wells drilled."