Top Business Stories: Drilling In Norman, Aubrey McClendon, And Cows

Jun 16, 2014

Finley Resources drilling in Norman
Credit Samuel Perry / Journal Record

An Energy Company Drilling A Well In Norman Changes How It’s Getting Water.

Finley Resources is putting in a well on Franklin Road in Norman. At first, the company ran a line directly to a fire hydrant. That led the city to raise the prices it charges high-volume commercial users. The more water someone uses, the more it costs per thousand gallons.

As Finley moves into the completion phase – including hydraulically fracturing the well – it has also run a line into nearby Little River Creek.

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board confirmed that Finley has a permit to purchase 4.2 million gallons from a landowner.

Norman City Council member Tom Kovach said the city is reviewing its rules for oil and gas activity in the city based on concern from residents.

Aubrey McClendon
Credit Journal Record

Aubrey McClendon Continues Buying Spree.

Companies affiliated with his American Energy Partners recently announced three purchases of leases totaling $4.25 billion dollars.

McClendon is known as the founder and former CEO of Chesapeake Energy. He left the company in April 2013 under pressure from the board.

His new companies purchased the right to drill in large swaths of the Marcellus Shale, the Utica Shale and in the Permian Basin.

Analysts said that while McClendon has played in some of these areas before, the strategy is slightly different now. Chesapeake often went in early and purchased land for low prices. But one analyst called the price-per-acre on one of the new deals “staggering.”

They also said it appeared that McClendon was making some of the same bets he made when he was running Chesapeake.

Cattle herd
Credit Brent Fuchs/Journal Record

Cattle Herds Start To Show Signs Of Growth.

After years of shrinking, industry experts said things are leveling off. But Mike Kelsey, head of the Oklahoma Cattleman’s Association, said the continuing drought means it’s too early to know for sure what will happen.

The good news for ranchers is that high domestic and international demand for beef should keep prices high for the next few years.

In January, the nation’s total cattle herd reached its smallest point since 1951. Ranchers were forced to sell animals as they ran low on water and feed.

Industry watchers said they’ll know more about how Oklahoma’s ranchers are doing when updated numbers come out in July.

The state lost 13 percent of its production over the last four years.


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