ENID — Busy at the office
Increased oil and gas activity is even more evident at the county clerk’s office, where land-men struggle for time and space in the clerk’s records office.
Grant County Clerk Debbie Kretchmar has had to limit the number of land men in the office. She has set a limit of 12 researchers in the records office at one time, and it is common for there to be a line of men waiting for their turn at the records.
“Sometimes, they’re scrapping like crazy,” Kretchmar said. “We’ve had up to 45 people waiting around to get in to look at the books. It’s been crazy around here, and really busy.”
Similar activity can be seen in Alfalfa County.
Alfalfa County Assessor Donna Prince reported the county only assessed “one or two” rigs in 2009. That number increased to “five or six” last year and tripled again to 17 rigs in January.
“There’s just a lot of activity going on, and a lot of excitement here,” Prince said. “It’s just booming and going strong.”
The busier the better
And, if Chesapeake’s projections hold true, activity in the area may become stronger through the remainder of the year.
The company plans to continue operating 22 rigs in Woods and Alfalfa counties through 2012, according to the fourth quarter earnings call.
The increase, maintenance or decline of production activity in the region will depend on economic factors driven on a global scale.
“Operational activity in each play is driven by economics,” said James Roller, Chesapeake corporate development manager. “In 2012, due to low natural gas prices, it became most economical for Chesapeake to focus on liquids. The Mississippi limestone is a liquids-rich play offering superior returns in today’s market.
“Chesapeake is working aggressively in north central Oklahoma to produce this play, create local jobs and support the regional economy. The returns thus far are positive and indicate a sustainable growth pattern for production in the area.”