View Full Version : Riata Energy relocation to OKC almost complete

08-09-2006, 10:56 AM
Riata's relocation nearly complete

By Adam Wilmoth
The Oklahoman

City headquarters to be operational soon
More than 65 employees of Oklahoma City's newest oil and gas company will be moved into their new headquarters by next week.

Riata Energy Inc. began its relocation from Amarillo earlier this month and soon will be operating totally out of The Tower building at 1601 Northwest Expressway, said Dirk M. Van Doren, the company's chief financial officer.

"It's nice to walk around the office and see co-workers," he said. "I've been here since May, and it's just been (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer) Tom (Ward) and myself. If I needed to talk to someone else, I've had to call Texas."

Ward in May agreed to buy a 46 percent stake in the former Amarillo company for $500 million. The move came just three months after Ward stepped down as president and chief operating officer of Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Ward now is looking to grow Riata, taking advantage of soaring oil and natural gas prices. The company has about 1,200 employees, most of whom work in west Texas and Colorado oil fields.

"We're looking to expand through our own drill bit, and if there are attractive acquisitions, we'll look at those, as well," Van Doren said. "We'll look at anything that makes sense for our shareholders to grow our asset base."

The plans probably will cause the company soon to outgrow its new headquarters. To accommodate its growth strategy, Riata is looking for a permanent home, Van Doren said. Expansion in the Tower is unlikely, because most of the building is full.

"We would consider all the likely suspects, which would be getting more space in another building, building a new facility or just buying a building," he said. "We'll look at anything that makes financial sense and sense for Riata and sense for the town."

Van Doren said options include both a more traditional downtown office building, as well as a more Chesapeake-like campus setting.

The company has a three-year lease at its current location.

"We'll probably need more space fairly quickly," Van Doren said. "If we want a significant amount of space, it will take some time. We're certainly looking now with the idea that you have to lay the ground work now to get something done in a year to two years."

Oklahoma industry leaders praise Riata's relocation as another boost to the local economy.

"It's wonderful for the state to see a company like Riata coming into Oklahoma," said Jeramy Rich, executive director of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association. "For too long, we saw great companies leaving the state. Now it's wonderful to see a guy like Tom Ward bring a company into the state. It's a real sign this industry has an impact on our economy."

"It's wonderful for the state to see a company like Riata coming into Oklahoma."Jeramy Rich, Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association

08-09-2006, 12:45 PM
The Tower is Valliance Bank, right?

Somebody please tell them to take Kerr McGee's old building.

08-09-2006, 01:33 PM
That's it.

I think it's pretty empty too.

08-09-2006, 01:56 PM
I agree. Although Riata is already dedicated to staying in OKC, so if we could lure another out of stater by having Kerr McGee vacant, I'm all for that too.

08-10-2006, 11:17 AM
Do you think just a large empty building is a major incentive? Doesn't seem that big of a deal to me. Although I wouldn't put it past city leaders and the Chamber to do something big.

08-10-2006, 11:58 AM
Yes, if it's marketed right.

08-10-2006, 12:16 PM
Maybe if we gave it to them free.

08-10-2006, 07:17 PM
The Kerr-Mcgee building isn't empty. Kerr McGee wasn't the only tenant. Once Kerr McGee leaves I think there will still be over 400 people working in the building. What would be nice is a new downtown building - say at the bend in the canal across from the the Brick. Maybe a mixed use build with hotel and offices.

08-11-2006, 02:06 PM
No. It wouldn't fit in with the rest of Bricktown. A high-rise needs to be in the CBD or on the banks of the Oklahoma River.