SandRidge to open local office

11/29/2012

Oil and gas company purchases building on Mary Street.

Oil and gas company purchases building on Mary Street.

BY SCOTT AUST

saust@gctelegram.com

SandRidge Energy, an Oklahoma City, Okla.-based oil and natural gas exploration company, will open a Garden City office soon, the Finney County Economic Development Corp. board of directors learned Wednesday.

Lona DuVall, FCEDC president, said SandRidge Energy has purchased land and a building on West Mary Street that used to be owned by Delta Supply.

"We don't have any idea how many employees they're going to base out of this location, and they don't have any idea how many. It really just depends on the activity and how large an area they service out of this facility," DuVall said.

SandRidge is currently the most active driller in the Mississippian Lime Shale formation that covers northern Oklahoma and western Kansas, according to the company's website.

"Currently, they have leases all over the area — east, south, west and north of us. They can service a pretty large area from here. It just depends on how aggressive they get in drilling and how quickly they move from well to well," DuVall said.

DuVall said SandRidge representatives told her during a state oil and gas conference in Hutchinson on Tuesday that traditional drilling methods over the past 60 years have barely scratched the surface of oil and gas resources still trapped in the Mississippian Shale formation. She said SandRidge estimates only 10 percent of what's there has been tapped.

"What they're telling us is there are decades left to go after that resource. They've now doubled what they thought we had in oil and gas reserves in the country utilizing fracking," she said.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, refers to the method of injecting fluid into the fractures of underground rock formations and then extracting the oil and gas that are released.

"It's a very exciting opportunity for the entire state of Kansas, really. There's a good portion of the state that sits on that shale," DuVall said. "We feel there's going to be a lot of opportunities from that industry over the next couple of years."

Concerning another project, DuVall said a development near the U.S. Highway 50 and Big Lowe Road intersection in Holcomb is still moving forward, and there could be a developer's agreement presented to the Holcomb city council by its Dec. 12 meeting.

The project includes a hotel, potentially a gas station and restaurants and possibly a small strip mall, DuVall said. The back portion of the property has been proposed for light industrial uses, such as storage units.

In other business:

* Board member Bob Kreutzer reported that talks with the Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau regarding the bed tax issue have been "amiable." The FCEDC is seeking a change in the county resolution that spells out the uses for the transient guest tax revenue so those funds could be used for economic development incentives. The Finney County Commission asked the two groups to talk about the issue and bring a recommendation back to the commission.

Kreutzer said the CVB board meets Dec. 18, the day before the next FCEDC board meeting. He hopes by then, his board will know if the CVB board will agree to changes in the bed tax resolution.

"If not, I don't know what the next step is," he said.

Tom Walker, FCEDC board chairman, said there has been good dialogue with the CVB and he believes they understand the FCEDC's point.

"One thing we wanted to make clear was that we're not asking for CVB money, or proposing to interrupt their budget or spending plan. We do want them to recognize that there are more opportunities for both the city and county by modifying the resolution," he said.

* The board confirmed Finney County's reappointment of Kreutzer to the board for another three-year term.

The next FCEDC board meeting is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Dec. 19, at the FCEDC office, 1509 Fulton Terrace.

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