Standing Still - Can SCOOP/STACK Get Its Mojo Back?

The market dislocations of the past year and a half really took the wind out of the sails of many U.S. hydrocarbon plays. Not the Permian, of course. Sure, production there declined some in the spring of 2020, but has been on the rebound ever since — aside from a brief, Deep Freeze-related downward spike back in February, that is. But the recovery in many other leading production areas was short-lived. Production in the Bakken has stayed close to flat lately, and output in the Eagle Ford has been slipping. The same is true in SCOOP/STACK, which only a few years ago was hailed as maybe the next big thing. What happened? And is there hope for a comeback? In today’s RBN blog, we discuss the once-hot Oklahoma play and its prospects.

Back in the early-to-mid 2010s — after the booms in the Bakken and the Eagle Ford, and before the Permian took (and held) center stage — it seemed for a moment that all eyes were on the Anadarko Basin or, more specifically, the Cana Woodford basin and SCOOP/STACK within it. That’s not to say the Anadarko was new in any sense. Similar to other basins that found new life with the advent of the Shale Revolution, parts of it have been producing hydrocarbons as far back as the 1920s. While the greater Anadarko covers a huge swath in the Midcontinent, its heart is in Oklahoma, and within the Sooner State the basin has multiple producing plays including the Granite Wash, the Cana Woodford, and the Ardmore Woodford (see Panhandle Hog Shoot).

The excitement that developed around the Anadarko a decade ago was warranted. The “good rock” we talked about in our first blogs about the Cana Woodford is primarily located around Oklahoma’s Kingfisher, Blaine, and Canadian counties in STACK (yellow-shaded area in Figure 1) and Grady, Caddo, Grady, McClain, Stephens, and Carter counties in SCOOP (blue-shaded area). Those areas did, in fact, produce a lot of crude oil and rich, NGL-soaked associated gas. From January 2013 to September 2019, oil production in the Cana Woodford increased 460%, from 84 Mb/d to 470 Mb/d, and for much of that time midstreamers were working flat-out to try to keep pace. (We’ll discuss the natural gas and NGL part of the story in Part 2.)

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