This sand ridge reveals not a desert but a vista of future profits. SandRidge Energy explores for and produces oil and natural gas in the Permian Basin of West Texas and in a number of other oil patches across the US. In 2010 SandRidge Energy reported estimated proved reserves of 3.3 trillion cu. ft. of natural gas equivalent. The company also operates more than 30 drilling rigs, a related oilfield services business, and gas gathering, marketing, and processing subsidiaries. Its SandRidge CO2 subsidiary operates CO2 treating and transportation facilities and has tertiary oil recovery operations. In a major expansion, in 2010 the company acquired rival Arena Resources for about $1.6 billion.
The acquisition boosts SandRidge Energy's holdings in the low-risk reservoirs in the Central Basin Platform of the Permian Basin. The company has been drilling in the Central Basin Platform since 2007, and the Arena Resources purchase greatly expands its acreage and drilling opportunities in the area, boosting the company's assets to more than 220,000 net acres in the Permian Basin and 7,200 identified drilling locations. It builds on the acquisition of Permian Basin oil and gas properties from Forest Oil for $800 million in late 2009.
SandRidge Energy's strategy for growth has been to integrate its exploration and production operations with its drilling and oilfield services and CO2 flooding businesses. Additionally, it pursues tertiary oil recovery operations and the purchase of more drilling rigs and related oilfield service equipment. Its oilfield services units mainly support SandRidge's operations, although it does some work for third parties. The services include pulling units, mud logging, trucking, tool rentals, location and road construction, and roustabout services.
The company has explored other acquisition opportunities as well. In 2009 it tried to acquire shale play explorer Crusader Energy but pulled out of the deal when others entered competing bids for the bankrupt explorer.
Revenues dropped sharply in 2009 as the result of the global recession that saw a fall in commodity prices and a decrease in demand for oil and gas exploration and production activities. Overall sales jumped more than 55% in 2010 as oil production increased by 4,492 million barrels to 7,386 million barrels and commodity prices soared. SandRidge returned to profitability in 2010, recording a net income for the first time in two years (thanks to robust revenues and the absence of asset impairment charges).
In order to assimilate its Arena Resources purchase, in 2010 the company announced plans to sell some of its non-core gas gathering and related assets in West Texas and cut back on its drilling activities in order to cut expenses and debt. It planned to raise up to $540 million through the disposal of non-core assets by the end of 2011, but managed to $655 million in assets. In early 2011 it sold its Wolfberry assets in the Permian Basin to a private company for $155 million. Later in the year it formed a joint venture with Atinum Partners, a South Korean investment firm, and sold Atinum a 13% stake in its northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas property for $500 million.
In 2012 the company announced plans to spin off SandRidge Mississippian Trust II. The Trust (48%-owned SandRidge Energy) will receive royalty interests from wells drilled on 53,000 net acres in the Mississippian formation in Oklahoma and Kansas.
That year, in a move to expand its operations in the Gulf of Mexico and boost its reserves, the company acquired Dynamic Offshore Resources in a cash and stock deal of about $1.2 billion. Dynamic Offshore Resources reported proved reserves of 62.5 million barrels of oil equivalent at the end of 2011.
To raise cash, that year SandRidge Energy also sold non-core West Texas assets for $130 million.