Oil And Gas Industry Jobs Trend Reverses
After two years of losses, Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry has added jobs, further signaling an end to the industry downturn that has hamstrung the local economy.
The Oklahoma Energy Index showed a gain of 100 jobs in energy production employment in the most recent data available. Although modest, the growth in industry jobs helped mark four consecutive months of industry expansion, offering further evidence that the industry’s current cycle has reached its nadir.
“The modest gains in the index data offer some welcome hope,” said Chris Mostek, senior vice president of energy lending for Bank SNB. “However, the industry should remain disciplined, especially if the market experiences further price improvements.”
The Energy Index, a measure of oil and natural gas industry activity, stood at 157.3 using data collected in August, a slight increase from the previous month’s reading of 156.6.
Natural gas spot prices were unchanged for the month at $2.82, while the average crude oil spot price advanced to $44.72. The average weekly active rig count advanced to 62 in August, and improving commodity prices are expected to support a modest increase in industry activity through the end of the year.
“A return to industry strength is critically important to support even modest statewide economic activity in the near term,” said Dr. Russell Evans, executive director of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute. “While significant uncertainty and anxieties still abound, the hope remains that next year may be the first in some time that improving national conditions join improving industry conditions to offer much needed relief to the state’s economy.”
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.
Contact: Cody Bannister at 405-601-2899