The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 7, 2012

Declaring independence

Ward: Technology means more oil, ability to kick foreign fuel habit

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID — One of the oldest oil production companies in Enid is Ward Petroleum, which drilled its first well near Enid in 1963.

President Lew Ward said the company has most of its activities centered in the Washita the Anadarko basin and Arkoma areas. Since the company’s beginning, it has drilled more than 800 wells, some as deep at 22,000 feet.

 Ward Petroleum has nearly 350 wells in Oklahoma.

The company focuses on geologically complex areas with multi-pay and multi-well potential and uses 3D seismic technology to reduce risk. Ward Petroleum started researching 3D seismic 10 years ago and partnered with Marathon to expand on its success.

The Anadarko Basin is a multi-pay zone, with opportunities for deeper potential due to passed over shallow zones, increased density drilling and low-risk back-up zones for higher risk exploratory tests, according to the company’s website.

Ward said the company currently is working in Roger Mills and Ellis counties, drilling horizontal wells in the Tonkawa and Granite Washita formations. The company also is interested in Mississippi Limestone formations in its area.

“We’re watching what’s happening in the Mississippi play in our backyard,” Ward said. “We’re seeing some very good resources in some and interesting in others.”

Ward said he is uncertain the Mississippi play is as attractive in this area as it is in others, but it has caught a lot of oil men’s attentions.

“We’re very fortunate what’s going on in the Grant, Alfalfa, Woods County and into Kansas. It’s very beneficial,” he said.

But the action is never far from home. As example of activity currently in the Enid area, Ward suggested traveling south on U.S. 81 to Waukomis and observe the number of cars at motels near the highway.

“There is no place to stay in Enid ...” he said. “Bank deposits are up, and lots of good things are happening.”

In his operation, Ward said he tries to favor a prospect that has more oil than gas potential. That doesn’t mean he is not favorable for developing gas potential, but prices for gas are not as good currently, although he said they will be better in the future.

Ward said since he started his business he has seen many trends in the oil business. He said he has stayed optimistic about the oil business and is as enthusiastic today as ever. Horizontal drilling, a relatively new technology, will be valuable in the industry.

“It has changed completely in the last three or four years,” he said. “It’s not the same industry we had three or four years ago. Then you couldn’t say we had 100 years supply of gas and oil, but you can say it now with a great deal of confidence.”

Ward is a firm believer in the free market system and believes it will take care of problems. If there is a shortage, technology will find a way to fill it, and if there is a surplus, the market will find a way to avert those problems, Ward said.

“Oil prices are a great driver, and they will drive the deliverability of primarily crude oil, to where it will soon become a surplus. That will happen sometime in the future, in the foreseeable future 12-18 months. So many are dependent on it,” he said.

Ward said oil pumped in the United States will help the nation become independent of foreign sources. Ward called that oil pool an “awesome amount” that will start coming to market when the pipelines get in place.

That will indicate there is a surplus, he said. When America has a surplus of oil and gas there no longer will be a need to purchase it from foreign countries, some of which are not friendly and undependable.

“In addition,” he said, “when you buy gas and oil from one of those countries you are sponsoring state terrorism.”