Oasis Petroleum was one of the first exploration and production companies to arrive at positive cash flow during the downturn, positioning it well for the new investor-driven emphasis on capital discipline in the oil and gas sector.
Jared Iverson, general manager of operations for Oasis, talked about the company’s future in the Bakken during a recent meeting of the Williston Basin chapter of the American Petroleum Institute.
The company is running two drilling rigs in the Williston Basin right now, Iverson said, and plans right now are to continue that in 2020, according to discussions in its third quarter earnings call.
The company has 414,000 net acres in Williston, which translates to about 1,385 wells it can drill.
“At our current activity level, two rigs, that is 20 years worth of drilling inventory in our top tier acres,” Iverson said. “That means Oasis is going to be in the Williston Basin for many years to come.”
Oasis recently completed a new gas processing facility in McKenzie County, the Wild Basin plant. That brought the Wild Basin area to 320 million cubic feet per day in gas processing capacity, and made the company the second largest processor in the state for a time.
Oasis has a gas capture rate of 93 to 95 percent, according to discussion during its third quarter earnings call. The state as a whole has a capture rate of just 81 percent, according to the latest numbers from the state’s Oil and Gas Division.
Iverson said the Wild Basin asset is the company’s first full field development.
“One reason to do that is to control our own destiny,” Iverson said. “We can control that and ensure we have takeaway capacity for our wells. And that is how we are able to meet gas capture goals.”
Oasis has been in the Williston Basin since 2007. Since 2012, it’s paid out about $3 billion in royalties in North Dakota and about $58 million in royalties in Montana.
It’s also put somewhere around $8.5 billion in capital expenditures into the state since 2012.
The company had employed 392 in North Dakota, making it one of the larger oil and gas employers.
It did lay off an OWS hydraulic fracturing crew earlier in the year, according to discussions in its third quarter earnings call, to cut costs.
Having an internal hydraulic fracturing company has allowed the company to control material costs, and ensures quality service and flexibility, Iverson said.
The company also has more than 2,000 contractors, depending on activity levels, and so, indirectly, is responsible for hundreds of additional jobs
Salaries at Oasis for high school graduates average $122,000 per year, Iverson said. Those with post-secondary certification are the highest earners, however, at $143,000 on average.
By home state, 60 percent of the Oasis workforce lives in North Dakota, and most of the rest live in adjacent states. In all, 26 different states are represented in the Oasis workforce.
Oasis has a strong emphasis on volunteer work in the community, Iverson added, and has recently created an app to more accurately track its volunteer hours.
“Our employees are really great at volunteering,” he said. “But not always so great at tracking hours.”
The company logged 484 hours so far for 2018 year, but Iverson indicated that the actual figure is actually higher.
The company is also one of the founders of the iPipe initiative, to advance leak detection technology, and has partnered with TrainND for safety training and with the North Dakota Department of Health for air quality training.