Until 2008, CountryMark didn't drill for oil or produce its own oil. Since then it has become a successful part of its business. Now the Indiana farmer-owned co-operative announces the purchase of Continental Resources, Inc., Eastern Region holdings. The $125 million deal is subject to proper approvals and closings.
The land and wells Countrymark is acquiring are in the Illinois basin, where CountryMark is already exploring and pumping oil. The purchase will increase CountryMark's ability to pump oil from the Illinois basin by about 1,100 barrels per day. Most of the assets set to be acquired from Continental Resources, Inc. in the Illinois Basin are in southern Illinois, southern Indiana and Kentucky.
CountryMark will also acquire certain properties important to production of natural gas that were held by Continental Resources, Ind., in Michigan, Mississippi and Kansas. The entire deal adds about 121,000 acres spread across six states to CountryMark's holdings. Continental Resources, Inc. is based in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The only oil refinery operated by a farmer-owned cooperative in Indiana is CountryMark's refinery at Mt. Vernon in the southwest toe of Indiana. Currently that facility can process about 26,800 barrels of crude oil per day. The refinery first opened in the 1940s.
CountryMark serves the entire state with oil products. One of its specialties is premium diesel fuel for both farm and on-road uses. The reduction in corn production also meant less diesel fuel was used to combine and transport grain, but company insiders are hoping it will be just a blip on the map, with more normal demand returning next harvest season.
The CEO of CountryMark, Charlie Smith, says that continuing to explore oil supplies in the Illinois basin and pump oil from those reserves is a major portion of CountryMark's strategy going forward.
CountryMark has also been a major player in promoting alternative fuels, including soybean biodiesel products.