Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry
June 2015

Vol. 1, No. 5 Week of June 14, 2015

WPX looking to hire amidst oil production growth

WPX Energy’s aim to increase oil production five-fold and triple the company’s overall value by 2020 is taking shape.

Toward that end, the company announced a recent Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale sale on May 27 that adds $200 million to its balance sheet and reduces cash outlays, releasing the company from approximately $690 million in future payment obligations.

Chief Executive Officer Rick Muncrief had said in 2014 that the company would sell those assets to narrow its focus to just three resource plays: the Williston, San Juan Gallup and Piceance basins. Also in May, WPX put out the “now hiring” signs at its Tulsa, Oklahoma, office as it seeks to add another 40 to 50 people by mid-summer. The company had slashed its Denver office staff from about 150 to 15 in March, but many were relocated to Tulsa. The open positions are primarily associated with oil and gas whereas the previously eliminated jobs were in business services such as accounting and lease records. WPX bucked the trend in the wake of falling energy prices during the first quarter by earning a profit with $67 million of income while cutting debt by 12 percent. Its oil volumes grew to nearly 35,000 barrels per day, up 79 percent year-over-year.

The remainder of the company’s Marcellus shale assets are next in line to be sold, according to a company statement, in order to focus its portfolio on oil and gas properties in the western U.S. WPX is gradually making progress toward greater oil production versus its strong history in natural gas properties particularly due to its entrance into the Bakken in 2010 when it acquired approximately 86,000 acres on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The transaction has resulted in 177 drilled operated wells with participation in an additional 19 wells.

- Maxine Herr

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