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Jobs increase lifts Energy Index

August 07, 2017
A 7 percent increase in Oklahoma drilling activity and an increase in corresponding employment has helped the monthly Oklahoma Energy Index post gains for the ninth time in the past year.
The addition of nine drilling rigs to the state landscape and the addition of 1,500 new oil and natural gas industry jobs pushed the most recent Energy Index to 168.8 using data collected in June. The Index’s 1 percent increase from the previous month is a signal the state’s defining industry continues to slowly but steadily recover from the multi-year downturn that began in 2014.
“The 10.9 percent annual improvement in the Index is consistent with the last few months,” said Chris Mostek, senior vice president of energy lending for Bank SNB. “This indicates a degree of stability within the industry as inventory levels have declined in recent weeks and prices appear range-bound right now.”
Dr. Russell Evans, executive director of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute, noted that drilling and employment gains offset decreases in oil and natural gas prices for the month.
“The industry struggles to find an operational balance in an improving but not yet fully improved environment,” Evans said. “Oil and natural gas prices have stabilized, but remain at levels that are unlikely to support the full distribution of drilling budgets announced for 2017. Baseline expectations are for the industry to continue a slow recovery through the end of the year, with hopes that further market balancing supports additional growth in the year ahead.”
The Energy Index 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, Bank SNB and the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute.

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