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New Oklahoma lateral law spurs investment

Players in Anadarko basin realising new opportunities after US state relaxed rules for horizontal wells

An Oklahoma law that went into effect last month allowing operators to drill extended laterals into non-shale formations is already having an impact in the western Anadarko basin, where the technology has been slow to catch on.

The law opened up an additional 1200 long-lateral locations for privately owned operator FourPoint Energy, chief executive George Solich said at the DUG Midcontinent conference in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

Solich added that 350 of those locations were previously uneconomic with standard 5000-foot laterals.

Unlike in the eastern part of the basin, which includes the prolific Scoop and Stack plays, operators in the western Anadarko basin have been slow to drill long laterals. Solich said FourPoint is about to spud its first 10,000-foot lateral.

"We have a long ways to go to adopt longer laterals," he said.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said the state is already seeing fresh investment from the new law, which she signed earlier this year.

Fallin said she expects the state to see "millions" of dollars injected into the state's economy as a result of the law.

"We're seeing the creation of new jobs, we're certainly seeing new investment and the talk of further investment," she said at the conference.