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June 29, 2014

Oil well applications in Stephens County second to only one

DUNCAN — Stephens County has the second-largest number of cross-unit oil well applications in Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

There are 313 cross-unit applications across the state,  according to the commission.

Grady County has 58 and Stephens County has 53, the regulatory agency said.

Cross-unit wells, approved by the Oklahoma Legislature in 2011, allows oil drillers to explore across two 640-acre sections of land when drilling horizontal wells.

Duncan Chamber of Commerce President Chris Deal said the oil and gas industry continues to be an important economic driver in the area.

Stephens County is part of the Anadarko Basin shale play, Deal said. The county is also part of the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province, known as SCOOP in the energy industry.

“Because of increased precision and efficiency in horizontal drilling, we’ve seen an increase in activity and productivity,” he said. “Historically, Stephens County has had a high level of production.”

There’s also a high demand for oil field workers in the area, as well as welders and Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) machinists to produce supplies and parts used by the oil and gas industry, Deal said.

Despite the area’s unemployment rate being below 5 percent, it’s still important to train the  work force, he said.

The Red River Technology Center and other local schools help meet the demand for skilled labor in the oil and gas and related manufacturing industries, as well as other local industries.

Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy said the majority of wells being drilled in the state are being drilled horizontally, as opposed to vertically or directionally.

In December 2013, 146 of the 229 wells completed were horizontal, according to the OCC.

The majority of wells completed last year were oil wells, rather than gas or dry wells, according to the OCC.

According to the OCC, 176 of the 229 wells completed in December were oil wells.

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