Osage Tribe Recognizes Stewardship for Minerals and the Environment

An award from the Osage Nation recognizes Tulsa-based Spyglass Energy Group for “its dedication and responsible service in successfully operating on the Osage Nation Mineral Reserve.”

Charles Wickstrom
Charles Wickstrom

To AAPG member Charles Wickstrom, the managing member of Spyglass, it’s as it should be.

“We received this award,” he said, “because, in fact, we are not only good stewards of the subsurface mineral estate, but also because our company and our operator (Nadel & Gussman) demonstrate a real concern for the surface environment and for the people of the Osage Tribe.”

Spyglass has spent much of its corporate creative energy on the Osage Tribe in Oklahoma. Spyglass’ main area of concern is Osage County in northeast Oklahoma. Its members, according to Wickstrom, have more than 130 years of experience working in the oil and gas fields of the county.

“There are many geological and economic reasons to focus on the Osage,” Wickstrom said. “First, the Tribe is very pro-business. They have long realized the bounty that oil and gas has provided for their people.”

The tribe originally was forced to leave their ancestral home near St. Louis and then again forced to relocate into the Oklahoma Territory – on land they had to purchase from the Cherokees.

“One of the members of the Tribe had a vision that this land would provide for the tribe, though he did not know how or what,” he said.

“Second, this is shallow, sweet-oil country with long-lived reserves. Third, it is a beautiful area in which to work.

“There aren’t many better places to be than on a rig watching the sun rise over the Tall Grass Prairie.”

It was for all of those reasons the Osage honored Spyglass – including Spyglass’ support on the Tribe’s annual Energy Summit as well as donating material to the Osage Museum in order, Wickstrom says, “to share our positive experience of working with the Osage Tribe.”

As a sovereign nation, the Osage is able to grant concessions on their mineral estates. For Spyglass – and before that, when Wickstrom was with Ceja Corporation – was able to put together exploration concessions on over 250 square miles in the Osage, resulting in the acquisition of 200 square miles of 3-D seismic data and the drilling of dozens of wells.

Best of all for Wickstrom, those concession areas are still being developed and will continue to be developed over the next 20 years.

It’s obvious for Wickstrom that while the award is meaningful, it’s not the hardware, the plaque, that matters.

“My relationship with the Osage Tribe covers decades and lifetimes,” he said. “Members of the Tribal Council and fellow geologists have worked, lived and now passed on. Many have come and gone and a few of us remain and we continue to bring up the next generation who will work together and prosper from what the land of the Osage continues to provide.”

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