Carrie Rengers

Mid Continent Energy Exchange to hold first auction Feb. 4

Mid Continent Energy Exchange formed in August and finally is ready for its first auction next month.

“It takes a while to get everything put together when you’re trying to set up something like this,” says Charlus Bishop, one of six partners in the business.

Mid Continent will auction working interests and partial interests in oil and gas leases, royalty interests, overriding interests and mineral interests.

The first auction will be Feb. 4 at the Wichita Boathouse, which is where all the auctions will be if the space works out, Bishop says.

He says he envisions one day selling wind rights and transmission rights, which he says is why the company has energy in its name instead of oil and gas.

“Those are all assets that generate income, and they’re marketable,” says Bishop, who says he’s been an investor in oil and gas rights and assets for years.

“I just felt like there was a need for a centralized marketplace.”

Though at least one other similar company already exists here, Bishop says he thinks there’s room for his business as well. He likens it to Lowe’s and Home Depot.

“There’s two lumber yards.”

For now, the six partners – including auctioneer Charly Cummings – have no employees.

“I look for that to change pretty soon,” Bishop says.

Mid Continent’s office is at 6730 W. Kellogg just west of Dugan Road.

Bishop says it’s an ideal time to start a company such as Mid Continent.

“There hasn’t been a lot of stuff that’s been moving. It’s starting to now.”

He says some people want to sell assets to help their cash flows.

“There’s kind of a cash crunch going on, and there’s some folks wanting to get rid of stuff, so we’re thinking it’ll be a good opportunity.”

He says others are on the hunt for deals.

“I feel sorry for some of these producers out there … just struggling through the current … oil and gas prices,” Bishop says. “Cash flows are tough. … They’re trying to make their living producing that product and selling in a marketplace, and there’s really not a demand for it right now.”

He says prices may be good at the pump for consumers, but there’s a “big-time negative impact” just about everywhere else.

“I wish oil was $60 a barrel again. It would be better for everybody.”

Bishop says it’ll be fine for his business when that happens, too.

“There’s always movement.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers