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1,600 new jobs drive Energy Index

October 16, 2017
A growing number of Oklahoma oilfield workers has helped the Oklahoma Energy Index mark its tenth month of growth in the past year, a positive sign for a strengthening oil and natural gas industry.

The most recent Energy Index stands at 171.2 using data collected in August. The 1.8 percent increase was the product of 1,600 new wage and salary jobs created in the oil and natural gas industry in the past month. In the past year, 4,700 oilfield workers have joined Oklahoma’s defining industry as Oklahoma oil and natural gas producers continue to recover from the impact of volatile commodity prices.

“Improved operational efficiencies and prudent hedging practices are helping companies’ cash flow and balance sheets as they continue to recover from 1Q 2016 cycle lows,” said Charlie Crouse, managing director of the energy division at Bank SNB. “However, with continued uncertainty around future prices, a moderate approach to additional leverage and CAPEX for most operators is still warranted.”

Dr. Russell Evans, executive director of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute, said activity in the state’s oil and natural gas fields has helped Oklahoma’s economy return to a state of growth and said he expects economic growth to continue through the end of the year.

“Early indications point to price gains in September,” Evans said of oil and natural gas prices. “While the industry continues to recover from the recent commodity bust cycle, the recovery is modest relative to the two previous build-ups, suggesting a return to the boom side of the cycle is unlikely in the near term.”

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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