The SCOOP and STACK plays in central Oklahoma have emerged as two of the most productive and cost-effective plays in the entire U.S. Rigs are returning, crude oil production is rising, and so is production of associated natural gas. Moreover, the RBN production economics model shows that SCOOP and STACK will continue to be attractive to drillers under all of our various price scenarios—even if crude were to slip back below $50 and natural gas goes back into the dog house, where it has been headed the past few days. Today we continue our look at the side-by-side Sooner State plays with a review of existing and planned gas processing capacity.
SCOOP and STACK (acronyms for South Central Oklahoma Oil Province and Sooner Trend Anadarko Canadian Kingfisher, respectively) sit within an 11-county geographic area in central Oklahoma where drilling activity is targeting the oil-rich Woodford and Meramec shale formations of the Anadarko Basin (see Scoop-y Doo and All Come to Look for a Meramec). Producers have successfully exploited this area for decades, but for a time production growth faded. More recently though, the region has been enjoying a revival of sorts as one of the most attractive shale plays in the U.S. Drilling activity has ramped up in recent years, led by Continental Resources in the SCOOP, and by Newfield Exploration in the STACK.
As we noted in Part 1 of this series, SCOOP is a 3,300-square-mile area in the southern extension of the Woodford Shale’s Cana field in south-central Oklahoma, with most of the activity currently in Grady, Stephens, and Garvin counties as well as a bit in Caddo. The STACK play sits just north of there (northwest of Oklahoma City), with activity centered around Kingfisher, Blaine, Dewey and Custer counties, plus some activity in portions of Canadian County. Both plays are mostly targeting the liquids-rich Woodford Shale formation (from the Upper Devonian era), and specifically the Cana field within the Woodford (familiarized as Cana Woodford). The Anadarko is certainly not a “new” oil and natural gas basin. In past decades, producers successfully exploited it using conventional vertical drilling, and in the early years of the Shale Revolution (2005-12), activity in Oklahoma primarily targeted natural gas. But by late 2012/early 2013, gas-focused rigs had declined significantly, and by mid-2013, rigs increasingly targeted unconventional oil and condensates in the play—Continental and Newfield being the pioneers.