• Stillwater councilors say energy lobbyists gave ultimatum on drilling-ordinance vote

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    Two Stillwater city councilors say they were told by energy industry representatives that they should delay their vote on a local drilling ordinance or state legislators would pass a law that could “cost the city a lot of money.” The lobbyists and an attorney representing the Consumer Energy Alliance, an energy industry group based in Washington, D.C., told councilors that state lawmakers will approve one of two bills currently before the Legislature. If the council failed to delay its vote on the local ordinance, the lawmakers would pass the bill that is more restrictive of cities’ ability to regulate drilling, the councilors say they were told. Oklahoma-based lobbyists Pat Hall and Jim Dunlap met with council members before their March 23 meeting, during which councilors voted 3-2 to delay a vote on the ordinance. A public hearing on the ordinance had been set for April 6 but was delayed until April 20. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • ConocoPhillips estimates Bartlesville layoffs at less than 4 percent of workforce

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Apr 1, 2015

    Houston-based oil and gas giant ConocoPhillips, which confirmed a round of layoffs beginning this week , has estimated that its reduction in Bartlesville will be less than four percent. On Wednesday, a ConocoPhillips spokesman added to the company's earlier statement, which did not include numbers. ConocoPhillips employs approximately 1,800 people at its support center in Bartlesville "Anytime you have to do these kinds of reductions, it’s always very difficult," said the spokesman with the Bartlesville office. "Our commitment to Bartlesville has not changed. We have been – and will continue to be – a strong part of the community." Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • ConocoPhillips latest oil company to lay off employees due to oil bust

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Mar 31, 2015

    BARTLESVILLE — ConocoPhillips, the nation's largest independent oil and gas producer which employs more than 2,000 people at its former corporate home in Bartlesville, has begun laying employees off there due to the persistent fall in crude oil prices, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday. The company would not confirm how many workers are caught up in the reduction, but various estimates put it in the dozens. ConocoPhillips is laying people off companywide, including at its Houston base. "We have announced that we will have some workforce reductions, and the ones that are made will be driven by lower activity levels as well as the findings of a cost structure review," a company spokesman based in Bartlesville said Tuesday. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Samson Resources laying off 196 local workers

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    Samson Resource Co., the privately held Tulsa oil and gas giant beset by huge debt leverage and falling crude oil prices, is laying off one-third of its Tulsa workforce, the company confirmed Thursday morning. Samson is letting go of 196 employees at the Tulsa headquarters and 270 companywide. The reduction will drop Samson's local workforce below 400 people. "As has been previously communicated, Samson Resources is currently in the process of evaluating restructuring alternatives to address the sharp decline in oil and natural gas prices, which have posed huge challenges to the company and to the broader industry," company spokesman Brian Maddox said in a statement. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • New Tulsa energy company springs to life

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Mar 13, 2015

    From where they are standing, striking out on your own to form an oil and gas company in the middle of a downtown is a pretty smart idea. It's all in how you see it. Newly formed Atalaya Resources LLC is the brainchild of longtime Apache Corp. officer Rob Johnston and four of his closest colleagues. Together, they have more than 160 years experience and all have been through the booms and busts. "We, from our vantage point, look at things differently from others," Johnston said from Atalaya's 11th-floor office of the First Place building in downtown Tulsa. "In my time we've experienced about six corrections. There's always an up following a down." Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Former oil executive in Oklahoma deal sued by SEC for insider trading while with another oil company

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Mar 6, 2015

    A former executive with a Houston energy firm that bought Oklahoma oil and gas assets from a Tulsa company last year has been sued again by federal regulators in an alleged insider trading scheme involving one of his earlier employers. Gary Williky, who was Petro River Oil Corp.’s executive vice president as of a July 2014 Tulsa World story, is charged with nine counts by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He was dismissed from Petro River shortly after that deal was announced. None of the federal counts has anything to do with that company nor its Tulsa transactions. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com.

  • Coalition will rally at state Capitol to call for moratorium on injection wells, fracking

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    The Coalition to Stop Induced Seismicity is hosting a rally Saturday afternoon at the state Capitol to call for a 12- to 24-month moratorium on wastewater injection wells and hydraulic fracturing. The gathering will take place 1 p.m. at the South Plaza of the Capitol. Organizers said a diverse mix of local and statewide grassroots groups will attend. Grand Riverkeeper Earl Hatley said the group's petition to Gov. Mary Fallin to enact an executive order to suspend high pressure/volume deep well injections and horizontal hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells — fracking — is two-fold. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • 'Extraordinary denial rate' of 9 in 10 earthquake claims rattles Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak has issued “a loud and clear” message for the insurance industry to handle claims appropriately in response to indications of an “extraordinary denial rate” of nine out of 10 earthquake claims filed in 2014. In a bulletin sent to insurance companies on Tuesday, Doak warned against basing earthquake claim denials on assertions that the quakes were man-made, calling a link between injection wells and earthquakes “unsettled science,” despite several studies to the contrary. The state Insurance Department gathered information from “larger earthquake insurance companies” that indicates that only eight of about 100 earthquake claims filed in 2014 were paid. In the bulletin, Doak noted that he is considering an examination of market conduct “to ascertain the facts surrounding the extraordinary denial rate of earthquake claims that the preliminary data seems to indicate.” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Midstates Petroleum opts to delay release of fourth quarter and full 2014 results

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Mar 3, 2015

    Midstates Petroleum Co., the oil and gas producer that moved its headquarters from Houston to Tulsa late last year, has delayed the earnings report that was due out Tuesday. The company also will put off its conference call which was scheduled for Wednesday. Midstates delayed those releases “to allow for more time to finalize its year-end financial results,” according to a statement on its website. “A press release will be forthcoming about its rescheduled earnings date.” The downturn in crude oil prices has hit Midstates Petroleum particularly hard in what was already a difficult time for the producer. Midstates’ stock value has dropped down nearly to $1 per share as of Tuesday, compared with a year-long high of $7.16 in June. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • John Stancavage: What's driving the price of gasoline?

    BY JOHN STANCAVAGE, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Mar 3, 2015

    The retail gasoline market is entering its annual crazy period where prices spike no matter what crude prices and drivers are doing. A recent 10-cent rise in pump prices in Tulsa reinforced the suspicion that such times are here again, and we're just going to have to ride them out, so to speak, until the summer driving season arrives. Gasoline here jumped to $2.25 at many retailers to start the week, while crude remained below $50 a barrel and oil supplies were at a high level. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • WPX Energy cutting its workforce by 83 positions systemwide, including 44 in Tulsa

    BY LAURIE WINSLOW, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    WPX Energy is cutting its companywide workforce by 83 employees, including 44 in Tulsa. The latest moves for the energy company, however, actually could result in an overall net gain for Tulsa, officials said. The cuts affect approximately 8 percent of its staff. The company also is consolidating most of its regional office employees in Denver with personnel at the company’s Tulsa headquarters, WPX reported Monday. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • While Inhofe throws snowball, little town in Oklahoma plays big role in climate debate

    BY MICHAEL OVERALL, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    Nearly two hours west of Bartlesville, on a prairie flat enough to see the town's water tower from half a county away, Lamont has a dwindling population of just 417 people. Less than half a mile wide, four Lamonts would fit inside of downtown Tulsa, with plenty of room left over. But Thursday, while a U.S. senator from Oklahoma was literally throwing a snowball in the fight over alleged global warming, little Lamont was playing a big role in the research. It happens to be the home of the Southern Great Plains field-observation facility for the U.S. Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program. Which probably sounds more impressive than it looks — 30 or so instrument clusters scattered across 160 acres of cow pasture and wheat fields southeast of town. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • ONE Gas surpasses $100 million in profit in first year after ONEOK separation

    BY ROBERT EVATT, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Feb 18, 2015

    The first full year ONE Gas Inc. had as an independent company was a good one, as the yearly income increased significantly over the previous year’s operations. The ONEOK spinoff made $109.8 million in profit, or $2.07 cents per share, on revenue of $1.82 billion, the company reported Wednesday. That compares to income of $99.2 million, or $1.90 cents per share, on revenue of $1.69 billion in 2013. The yearly total was helped along by a strong fourth quarter, which saw earnings of $36.6 million, or 69 cents per share, on revenue of $514.4 million. The fourth quarter of 2013 had $30.3 million in profit, or 58 cents per share, on revenue of $522.7 million. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • WPX Energy cuts capital spending plan by half to $725 million midpoint

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Feb 13, 2015

    WPX Energy Inc. is cutting its expected capital spending budget this year by 50 percent, focusing nearly all of that on its core areas of the San Juan, Piceance and Willison basins, the Tulsa-based oil and gas producer revealed this week. All three of those plays are part of WPX's long-term strategy. WPX has sold off other assets, including the Apco interests in South America and in the Marcellus Shale of the eastern U.S. This year's capital spending range has a midpoint of $725 million, compared with $1.5 billion in 2014. Many oil and gas companies have cut expenditures or laid off employees in response to the seven-month decline in crude oil prices. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Tulsa-based Williams Partners has restarted Geismar plant damaged in 2013 explosion

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    A Geismar, Louisiana chemical plant which was nearly destroyed in a deadly June 2013 explosion and fire is rebuilt and producing ethylene for sale, Tulsa-based Williams Partners announced Tuesday. The new production comes after several delays while Williams worked at rebuilding and expanding the Geismar plant. Ethylene is used in petrochemical production for things like plastic and paint. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Quake Debate: Scientists warn of potential for 'large earthquake' as injection well discussion continues

    BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Feb 9, 2015

    The warning may have seemed a little dramatic at the time, but OSU geology professor Todd Halihan wanted to get lawmakers’ attention about the risk of a damaging earthquake. “We knew the dust bowl would happen scientifically, but as scientists we did not communicate it effectively to the people of the state; I don’t want to do it again with a large earthquake,” states a slide in Halihan's presentation to an interim study committee last October. “If a damaging earthquake occurs, do the right people foot the bill or do the taxpayers or the companies who are taking the proper precautions foot the bill?” Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .

  • Oilfield equipment maker Team Oil Tools closing Tulsa plant, laying off 95

    BY ROD WALTON, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Feb 6, 2015

    The modern day oil bust has claimed another employer in Tulsa. Team Oil Tools has informed the Oklahoma Department of Commerce that it will permanently close its manufacturing facility and lay off 95 workers. The facility is at 10557 East Ute St., just east of downtown Tulsa. The WARN notice that Team Oil Tools sent to the Commerce Department indicated that the closing will happen April 3. Read the rest of this story at TulsaWorld.com .