“Mini-boom” underway in Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry

The Oklahoma City University professor behind the Oklahoma Energy Index is talking of a “mini-boom” when it comes to the improvements of Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry.

Dr. Russell Evans, executive director of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute, said a bullish outlook for crude oil prices supports expectations of continued industry strength during the recovery of the state’s defining industry.

“Activity seemed poised to turn to ‘slow and steady’ by early 2018, but stronger than expected global growth and geopolitical disruptions to supply have sent prices and production higher,” Evans said. “Instead of slow and steady, the industry is better described as entering a mini boom. It remains to be seen if the years ahead see the state race headlong into a full-blown boom period again or if general economic weakness constrains economic activity, prices and production.”

The most recent Energy Index saw an increase of 1.5 percent. The Index has grown by 15 percent from one year ago, and today stands at 228.1 using data collected in August.

This month’s index was led by gains in crude oil prices and energy production employment and a minor increase in natural gas prices. In the past month, the oil and natural gas industry has added 2,000 new workers in production and production support employment and more than 10,000 new workers in the past year. The state’s rig count stayed flat for the month at 139, but crude oil prices and the stock value of Oklahoma oil and natural gas companies in the index’s Oklahoma energy portfolio both declined.

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.