With increased employment in the oil and gas sector in the state, the Oklahoma Energy Index has moved higher marking the eighth month i the last 10 that industry activity has grown.
“The industry improvement shown in eight of the last 10 months is a sign for optimism,” said Chris Mostek, senior vice president of energy lending for Bank SNB. “We see signs of this strengthening in our markets also.”
Another 2,100 oil and natural gas industry jobs were added in the state with current employment estimated to be 62,000. Increased employment has been driven primarily by increased rig activity, as increased exploration for oil and natural gas production has resulted in a 62 percent increase in the number of active drilling rigs compared to one year ago.
The Energy Index is a joint project of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, Bank SNB and the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute.
The Index stood at 170.1 using data collected in March, a 1.9 percent increase from the previous month’s reading.
“The consistency of the energy sector is spilling over to the economy at large,” explained Dr. Russell Evans, executive director of the Agee Policy Institute. “State employment, income and production are all moving in a positive direction with a positive move in tax revenues to follow. The developing recovery will be too late to save this fiscal year, but should ease somewhat the strains of the year to come.”