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Nathaniel Harding.

Harding: Arkoma Stack on the upswing

November 12, 2018
TOPICS: In the news
Oklahoma’s southeastern oil and natural gas fields are experiencing a resurgence, Nathaniel Harding told the OIPA Wildcatter Luncheon crowd.

“Where you find oil and gas is where it’s already been produced,” Harding said in describing his company’s sole focus on the Arkoma Stack.

Harding, the featured speaker at OIPA’s November luncheon in Tulsa, is a third-generation producer and the founder and president of Antioch Energy. His grandfather and great-uncle formed Harding Brothers Oil & Gas Company in Dallas in 1953, his father co-founded Harding & Shelton Inc. in Oklahoma City in the early 1980s, and Nathaniel himself co-founded Antioch with his partner Kevin Dunnington in 2016.

Antioch’s management team has more than 150 years’ experience building and running exploration and production companies. Still, Harding said, “We’re a ragtag group, with people from all walks of life and backgrounds, which really adds to the richness and experience of our team.

“We have folks that have worked for large companies and a couple of guys who this is their first job working for someone else.”

“Our culture is about working in short increments and making weekly, short-term goals instead of having charts about what we’re going to do in 2020. We have an overall vision of creating value in the Arkoma Basin.

“The how is a weekly, iterative process. We have an inter-related, inter-departmental approach.”

Antioch stresses communication, creativity, cross-discipline and problem solving, Harding said.

“It’s a great neighborhood, thanks in part to work by OIPA and OKOGA helping ensure that it’s a great neighborhood,” he said. “Great access to quality service companies, a lot of institutional knowledge and savvy landowners and mineral owners.”

The Arkoma Stack is shallow, low-decline and liquid-rich with several targets, Harding said, and Antioch is among the larger acreage holders in the play’s sweet spot, with about 25,000 net acres. The company has one rig running and working interest in 30 recent wells in the area.

Over the past eight years, activity in the area has migrated from the dry gas portion into the liquids-rich window, similar to the STACK itself.

“Gallons per foot is certainly an important part of the equation,” he said. “We’re starting to see that, and others are as well.”

The economics of the play are improving as well, he said, given the Arkoma’s pricing advantage due to robust infrastructure and long-haul capacity. Those options drive basis differentials that are the lowest in the Mid-Continent.

Antioch’s 2019 plans are to drill and complete 12-16 wells, at least half in the Mayes and the Caney. Running one rig would allow Antioch to generate free cash flow by 2020, Harding said.

“We view that as a long-term growth opportunity for us,” Harding said.
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