The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 5, 2011

Boom a boon

Alfalfa County commissioners: Oil company boosts economy

By Joe Malan, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

CHEROKEE — Oklahoma City-based SandRidge Energy is doing a lot of drilling in Alfalfa County, and the company hopes to continue its ventures there.

The Alfalfa County wells and rigs are part of the SandRidge firm’s Mid-Continent Horizontal Mississippian oil field, a field that encompasses counties in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

SandRidge owns 750,000 acres of land in the area, and 37 horizontal wells are in Alfalfa, Grant and Woods counties.

“We’re ramping up a drilling program in northern Oklahoma,” said Kevin White, senior vice president of SandRidge. “We’ve gone from a year ago this time running one rig into play, and now we’re running a dozen rigs.”

White said he expects there to be 135 to 140 wells in northern Oklahoma before long.

Many of SandRidge’s horizontal wells are in northeast Alfalfa County.

Doug Murrow, District 1 commissioner, said there’s a lot of drilling going on in Alfalfa County.

“(They’ve been drilling) for several months,” said Murrow. “I’d say close to five, six months probably.”

Murrow said the oil drilling is benefiting the local economy.

“Just in general, people have to buy groceries, go out and do different things,” Murrow said.

Chad Roach, District 2 commissioner, said SandRidge’s drilling is huge for Cherokee and the whole county.

“It’s a boost to the sales tax to have people bunking here,” Roach said. “They’re going to the grocery stores and buying food and supplies.”

There are 16 bunkhouses in Cherokee, said Don Bowman, Cherokee city manager.

Like White and Roach, Bowman said SandRidge’s activity is a huge boost to the local economy.

“It seems to be that Alfalfa County and Grant County are seeing a huge increase in sales tax,” Bowman said. “It’s been a fantastic boost to our economy. They’ve been very, very good to work with.”

White said it’s been great working with the people of Alfalfa County during SandRidge’s operations there.

“I think our relationships are probably pretty good,” White said.

White added Alfalfa County will continue to be one of the key and most active areas for SandRidge Energy’s endeavors.