New technology has breathed new life into older Texas oil fields in the Panhandle and in nearby Oklahoma. Apache Corp, one of the nation’s largest energy explorers, recently purchased Cordillera Energy Partners III LLC for $2.85 billion. Apache is paying $600 million in common stock and the rest in cash. The deal brings Apache control of 254,000 acres of the Granite Wash Field, an area of older oil wells in the Texas panhandle and across the Texas-Oklahoma border. It consists of a series of thick, multilayer, liquids-rich sandstone and conglomerates, and the area possesses superior reserve properties compared to other shale.
The remaining oil and natural gas in Granite Wash is between 11,000 and 13,000 feet deep, and there is natural gas at a depth of up to 17,000 feet. At these depths the oil and natural gas was technologically impossible to access in the past. Recent extraction advances broke through that technological hurdle, but the area was still economically nonviable because of the high costs involved. Apparently no longer. This area has estimated reserves of 71.5 million barrels of oil equivalent and a current net production of 18,000 BOE per day.