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Energy Index continues upward

November 15, 2017
The Oklahoma Energy Index continues to move upward, with this month’s measure of the state’s oil and natural gas industry marking the 12th time in 16 months the index has registered positive gains.

The most recent Energy Index stands at 172.9 using data collected in September, a 1.7 percent increase from the previous month’s reading. For the year, activity levels in the oil and natural gas industry are 11 percent higher.

“Despite the recent build in U.S. oil inventories, the industry is still working towards balancing supply and demand. This is demonstrated by the continuing decline in rig count,” said Chris Mostek, senior vice president of energy lending for Bank SNB. “These factors should help support the oil price and financial performance of the industry.”

Dr. Russell Evans, executive director of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute, said this month’s index increase was driven by gains in commodity prices and an increase in oilfield employment, where 900 jobs were added in both production and support sectors.

A strengthening oil and natural gas industry is expected to lead the state economy through the end of the year, with holiday sales and tax collections expected to exceed previous expectations thanks to an increase in oilfield activity. However, Evans said, a bearish outlook on commodity prices for 2018 could hamper continued growth.

“The pace of recovery in the oil and gas industry slowed a bit in late summer,” Evans said. “Most forecasts for oil prices point to only modest gains in 2018 with predicted prices ranging from $48 to $54 with natural gas prices trading near $3 for the year. These prices are sufficient — if just barely — to maintain a baseline of activity in Oklahoma’s oil fields.”

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 (OIPA), Bank SNB and the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute.
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