DUG Midcontinent Conference on energy coming to Tulsa in April
BY ROD WALTON World Staff Writer
Thursday, December 06, 2012
12/06/12 at 2:41 AM
Local companies are major players in a thriving industry
A new Tulsa energy conference will dig an information channel deep into the prolific Mississippi Lime oil and gas formation next spring.
Houston-based Hart Energy and Tulsa officials announced Wednesday they will launch the DUG Midcontinent Conference April 22-23 at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center. The inaugural event will focus on important regional producing areas such as the Mississippi Lime, Granite Wash and Cana-Woodford Shale, among others.
Hart Energy CEO Rich Eichler called the Mississippi Lime, which runs through portions of northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas, as the "next generation of resource plays," a once-abandoned formation made productive through the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
"The Mississippi Lime is really becoming a player," Eichler said after a news conference at Tulsa City Hall. "The Mississippi Lime falls into play just behind the Eagle Ford and Bakken shales; it's the application of tried and true technologies."
Planner of the DUG Midcontinent Conference - DUG stands for "developing unconventional gas" - expect the event to attract at least 400 people from around the nation. Local companies such as Eagle Energy already are drilling wells in the Mississippi, while national firms such as Marathon, Halcon and Apache also are developing leases there.
Eagle Energy CEO Steve Antry helped connect Tulsa city and Tulsa Regional Chamber leaders with Hart Energy to bring the DUG Midcontinent to Tulsa. The city's energy sector includes companies in all phases of the energy industry, employing about 23,000 people and generating $10 billion worth of economic impact, Jim Fram, senior vice president for economic development for the chamber, noted during the press conference.
"This will help us maintain our standing as a leading North American energy hub," Fram said. "We're sincerely thrilled to have Hart Energy coming to Tulsa."
Hart publishes industry magazines and has been putting on conferences for more than 30 years. The company had been packaging discussion about the Mississippi Lime and Granite Wash into its Fort Worth conference, but it became convinced that the play was getting big enough to deserve its own spotlight.
DUG Midcontinent will attract state-based companies already in the regional plays but also will draw major independent producers such as Apache and well service companies from all over the world.
"It makes sense for us to be one of the leaders in education, knowledge and discussion of this play," said Roy Hoyt, senior vice president of VisitTulsa.
The Tulsa Regional Chamber and Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. have targeted the local energy sector for growing jobs and bringing more outside companies to the city. Bartlett sees Tulsa as a technological, information and infrastructure access point for entry into the Mississippi Lime, considering that some of the wells are being drilled as close as Osage County.
Apache and PetroQuest Energy, both drilling in the formation, have significant field offices in Tulsa. SpyGlass Energy, another locally-based company, is beginning to drill in the Mississippi Lime, while Houston-based Midstates Petroleum recently bought Eagle as a means of entering the oil-rich area.
"Tulsa is well positioned," Bartlett said. "At the end of the day, they're spending a lot of money (gaining access into the formation), and that's good for the city of Tulsa."
Eichler said he expects the DUG Midcontinent to grow over time. He noted Hart's Marcellus Shale conference in Pittsburgh, which started out with about 1,000 attendees and now attracts 3,000 annually.
"We really believe this is a great opportunity," Eichler said.
Tulsa's energy sector includes companies in all phases of the industry, from exploration and production to pipelines and refining. The city is home to Williams Cos. Inc., ONEOK Inc., Magellan Midstream Partners, LP Laredo Petroleum Holdings, Mid-Con Energy Partners and SemGroup Corp., among others, while Apache, PetroQuest and HollyFrontier Corp. also maintain major operations locally.
Hart is still developing content for the DUG Midcontinent Conference, Eichler said, although he confirmed that Rob Johnston, central region vice president for Apache in Tulsa, will be a keynote speaker.
Original Print Headline: New Tulsa energy conference slated
Rod Walton 918-581-8457
Rich Eichler: The CEO of Hart Energy calls Oklahoma's Mississippi Lime the "next generation of resource plays."