Oklahoma energy industry expansion continues

The expansion of Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry continues and the economist who compiles the Oklahoma Energy Index says industry growth and its impact on the state economy are expected to continue through the end of the year.

The most recent energy index saw an increase of less than 1 percent, with half of the index’s six variables posting gains and the other half contracting. The Index has grown by 13.4 percent from one year ago, and today stands at 224.2 using data collected in July.

This month’s index was led by gains in crude oil prices and energy production employment and an increase in stock value of Oklahoma oil and natural gas companies in the index’s Oklahoma energy portfolio. Natural gas prices, however, fell by 4.7 percent and were accompanied by a less than 1 percent decrease in support employment and the loss of one drilling rig in the state’s average rig count for the month.

“Recent slides in commodity prices are not entirely unexpected and unlikely to significantly slow the pace of activity in the state,” said Dr. Russell Evans, executive director of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute. “The pace of the industry expansion and the influence over statewide economic conditions appears likely to hold through the end of the year … It is unclear how long the current expansion can run, but for as long as it does the state will enjoy the economic fruits of its defining industry.”

The OEI is a comprehensive measure of the state’s oil and natural gas production economy established to track industry growth rates and cycles in one of the country’s most active and vibrant energy-producing states. The OEI is a joint project of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute.