Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Return of Anadarko Basin Drilling/'if You Have the Money to Drill, Now Is the Time to Do It'

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Return of Anadarko Basin Drilling/'if You Have the Money to Drill, Now Is the Time to Do It'

Article excerpt

TULSA (AP) - The boom is far from back, but high-dollar deep natural gas wells again are being bored into the Anadarko Basin, where drilling costs have plunged since the early 1980s.

"If you have the money to drill, now is the time to do it," said Rick Conner, chief of statistics for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

Leon Ellis, drilling supervisor for Sanguine Ltd. of Tulsa, said one reason for the modest drilling resurgence is "that well costs are about one-third of what they were during the boom."

He said an average deep well, including completion expenses, cost between $6 million and $8 million during boom times. It costs about $2.5 million today, he said.

"With gas prices at $1.30 to $1.50 per 1,000 cubic feet, the payoff isn't quite as fast as what it was during the boom, but there's still plenty of money to be made," Ellis said.

Sanguine is sinking a deep well in Roger Mills County on the Texas border, in the heart of the Anadarko Basin.

Jim Gilliland, a driller with Parker Drilling Co., another Tulsa company active in the Anadarko, said:

"Costs for producing wells to depths of 18,000 feet are substantially lower than what they were in 1981. Completion times then might run six, eiht months. Today, it might take three, four months if you don't have any problems.

"The reasons for this are that you've got better and fewer hands working on the rigs now and there are a lot better bits available," he said.

In the Anadarko Basin, deep gas rigs are being brought out of retirement to drill holes to depths of 15,000 to 18,000 feet.

Helmerich & Payne Inc., Tulsa, is operating the largest rig active in the state, at the center of activity in Roger Mills County.

"The rig is rated to a depth of 30,000 feet," said Vernon Bromlow, tool pusher for Helmerich & Payne. "We're only drilling to around 18,000 feet, so this is a little overkill, but you use what equipment you have at hand. …

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