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December 5, 2012

SCOOP could bring new oil boom

CHICKASHA — Chickasha could see a major increase in population and business on the heels of discovering the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province.

The SCOOP, is mineral rich plate that could yield an incredible amount of oil and natural gas according to Senior Vice President of Operations for Continental Resources Rick Muncrief.

Muncrief said Continental Resources already has six rigs working in the area right now and that the company plans to add at least six more by December of 2013.

"It won't be a boom, but there will definitely be more activity," he said. "We are pretty excited about what we are seeing North and Northeast of Chickasha proper."

Each rig directly employees about 25 people and with subsequent services rig crews could reach as high as 80 employees.

"The region needs to be prepared for addition housing construction," Muncrief said.  "We need to continue maintaining a proactive business environment and everything will be fine."

Chickasha Mayor Hank Ross said the city has already preliminary discussion with representatives from Continental Resources.

"We plan to have more talks at the beginning of the year and we need to answer the question, is this going to be a consistent ramp up, or a boom," Ross said.

The council has been looking into temporary housing and preparing all aspects of the infrastructure for the increase.

"The could be the biggest thing to happen to Chickasha in 30 years," he said. "We've already seen our sales tax dollars increase."

Ross said he expects more retail shops to follow the increase of residents in the area.

Many have likened the SCOOP to the Bakken shale in North Dakota, which caused a large boom.

Continental Resources has roughly 200,000 net acres of land under lease according to Muncrief, but he said  companies like New Field Exploration and Marathon are also beginning to drill in the SCOOP.

"We are willing to invest in this economically," Muncrief said. "It's early on, but we think this could be an impactor. We are just scratching the surface of an area with today's technology that has historically been an oil province. We can access rock we couldn't before and we believe that's going to pay dividends."


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