Big wells drive spending decisions for the well operator and for operators throughout the area. They also drive up interest in nearby acreage and sales prices throughout the field.

Enid-based Ward Petroleum last week boasted of a Grady County well that tested at an initial production rate of almost 16 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and 860 barrels of oil per day. The well was drilled into the Mississippian formation with a horizontal length of about 7,500 feet.

"For Ward, it establishes the reservoir and the opportunity in our SCOOP assets," said David Stone, Ward's chief operating officer. "We're very encouraged about the results."

Ward's Lynda well was drilled into the Mississippian formation, a rock layer that produces large amounts of saltwater in northwestern Oklahoma, but far less water in Grady County and other parts of the SCOOP.

"I've always believed the Mississippian has been an excellent target," Stone said.

With the success of the Lynda well, Ward likely will expand its drilling program in the area.

"This opens up the opportunity not just for us, but for the industry as well," Stone said.

Initial production rates can be difficult to compare. Some companies report the rate over the first 24 hours, while others average the production over the first 30, 60, or 90 days.

Collectively, though, they can show trends and provide a glimpse into the overall potential of a field or region.

Oklahoma City's largest publicly traded companies also are active in the SCOOP and STACK. They have boasted of similar successes in the region over the past few months.

Continental Resources Inc. in the fourth quarter of 2016 drilled seven STACK wells that had first 24-hour production test rates of more than 1,600 barrels of oil equivalent, including one well with an initial rate of 2,463 equivalent barrels per day.

Devon Energy Corp. in the fourth quarter had two operated wells achieve 30-day rates. They averaged 1,600 barrels of oil equivalent, including 70 percent oil, the company said.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Doug Lawler last month said the company recently drilled more than 10 central Oklahoma wells averaging 30-day initial production rates of 1,140 barrels of oil equivalent, including one that tested at 1,813 equivalent barrels per day and 80 percent oil.

 
 
 
Adam Wilmoth
Adam Wilmoth

Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years... read more ›