Energy Companies Eager to Begin Longer Laterals in Oklahoma

While a new law allowing greater horizontal drilling in Oklahoma won’t take effect until Nov. 1, 2017, an emergency designation with Senate Bill 867 is allowing some companies to begin the drilling now.

As the Oklahoman reported, Tapstone Energy in Oklahoma City could become the first company to start drilling horizontal wells up to two miles in length.  And the emergency designation allowed such efforts to begin Thursday, Aug. 24.

The paper reported Tapstone planned to file permit requests next week with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, a move that would allow the company to start drilling in late October and early November. Tapstone has two wells in northern Dewey county and will apparently launch its long-drilling efforts there.

The new law could result in a new boom in Oklahoma’s STACK and SCOOP plays. Previously a 2011 law allowed two-mile laterals but only in shale rock layers. The legislature’s approval of SB 867 will allow the laterals in all producing rock layers.

Some exploration companies say the longer lateral drilling is the future in the industry.