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Oil and gas industry claims nine spots in list of Oklahoma Inc. performers

Oklahoma's booming oil industry is apparent in this year's Oklahoma Inc. list, where nine of the top 10 performing companies are from the oil and natural gas sector.
by Adam Wilmoth Published: November 11, 2012

Steady oil prices and improved drilling technology have led to another banner year for the state's energy industry.

The success came even as plunging natural gas prices all but wiped out the effort to search for dry natural gas.

Fueled by the strong oil drilling activity, Oklahoma's energy industry again topped this year's Oklahoma Inc. list, claiming nine of the top 10 places.

“Oklahoma has led the nation in job growth through the recession. We have gained back all the jobs that were lost and more,” said Mike Terry, president of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association. “From a tax perspective, the oil and gas industry continues to pay almost one-third of the taxes in the state.”

The Oklahoma Inc. rankings is produced annually by Standard & Poors, Capital IQ for The Oklahoman.

Improved drilling technology combined with strong oil prices have led to a new wave of oil drilling throughout Oklahoma and the country.

Much of the new drilling in the state is in northern, western and southern Oklahoma where companies have been producing oil for about a century.

“The exciting part is that there were old plays that were drilled a long time ago, but they are being rejuvenated,” Terry said. “It's like hitting the reset button and starting again. Recoverable reserves, before it's all said and done, will be much higher than they were years ago when the fields were first developed.”

While the industry growth has led to increased profits for energy companies and shareholders, it also has benefited royalty owners throughout the state. Much of the renewed drilling is in parts of the state where oil production previously peaked decades ago.

“A lot of that production had dwindled to the point that it was barely marginal and was at risk of being plugged and abandoned where the royalty owners would get no more money at all,” said Jerry Simmons, executive director of the National Association of Royalty Owners.

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by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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