When Texas billionaire wildcatter T Boone Pickens in 1971 began collecting large swaths of land in the state’s panhandle, he knew well the fortunes lost to the region’s Granite Wash formation.
It would take 12 purchases over 40 years for Pickens to accumulate a total 57,600 acres—more than 100 square miles he christened Mesa Vista Ranch. There, in the whistle-stop of Pampa, Reese Energy Consulting CEO Steve Reese in 1981 worked as a greenhorn in a field office where he visited the ranch and Pickens on occasion, taking in the number of operators with their lofty hopes and fingers crossed who continued to drill despite the play’s history of lackluster returns. Then, the Shale Revolution transformed everything.
2011 saw the first horizontal well at Mesa Vista produce 900 BPD oil and 1.2 MMCF gas. Today, the lease hosts 47 wells producing 361 BPD. Among the operators is Australia-based Alpha Seven Energy, which in 2021 secured a farmout lease agreement on 23,958 acres. Now, N.Y.-based investment firm Joseph Sassoon Group (JSG) has hitched a ride with Alpha, snapping up the mineral rights in a development plan that includes drilling at least one well every six months across the entire leasehold. JSG reports it will drill its first completion in March.