Standing Still, Part 2 - While SCOOP/STACK Oil Output Falls, 'Rich' Gas Signals a Rebound

As we said in Part 1, it wasn’t long ago that all eyes were on the Anadarko Basin or, more specifically, the Cana Woodford basin and the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province (SCOOP) and Sooner Trend Anadarko Canadian and Kingfisher (STACK) plays within it. The excitement was warranted. Oil and gas production surged in the counties we identify that can tap those formations. It’s worth noting that the subsurface geology doesn’t follow county lines and there are many places where multiple plays can be reached from a single drilling location. So, allocating rigs or wells located in a particular county to an individual reservoir is an approximation at best. And also, RBN’s county definitions are not identical to either the Energy Information Administration (EIA) or Baker Hughes. (For example, we consider Kingfisher to be part of the Cana Woodford; see Stardust, And Much More.)

Production gains in four energy-rich counties in particular — Kingfisher (dark-blue layers in Figure 1 graphs), Blaine (light-blue layers), and Canadian (red layers) in STACK and Grady in SCOOP (green layers) — helped drive crude oil and gross (unprocessed associated) gas production gains in the Cana Woodford and broader Anadarko through the final years of the 2010s. (The gray layers in the crude oil and gross gas graphs show production in the rest of the counties that we identify as SCOOP/STACK and Cana Woodford, and the white layers below the black lines show production in the rest of the Anadarko as reported by the EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report.) But the big run-up in SCOOP/STACK production ended abruptly in the summer of 2019 (notably, well before the troubles of 2020 that hammered the rest of the U.S.) and, over the next few months, output of both crude oil (left graph) and gross gas (right graph) stumbled, then fell off a cliff in the spring of 2020 when COVID hit. Oil and gas production in the basin was also rocked nearly a year later by freeze-offs in last February’s deep freeze.

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