Oklahoma energy producers celebrate industry growth
Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association members celebrated the industry's growth at the group's annual meeting.
LAS COLINAS, Texas — Oklahoma oil and natural gas producers this weekend commemorated the recent resurgence of the industry while also addressing pending challenges.
“This is a time of celebration,” said Jack Gerard, American Petroleum Institute president and CEO, at the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association's annual meeting.
“It's a game changer. We're not just talking about producing energy. We're talking about job creation, economic recovery and energy security. There's never been anything like this in the energy industry before.”
Gerard said the industry represents 300,000 direct and indirect jobs in Oklahoma with a median salary of $83,000 a year.
“You contribute $42 billion a year to the Oklahoma economy,” he said.
The country's oil and natural gas industry has boomed in recent years as new technology and drilling techniques have allowed producers to recover vast amounts of oil and natural gas from tight rock that previously could not be harvested economically.
“It has been a tremendous revival of energy resources in North America,” said Steve Trammel, industry relations senior manager at IHS, a Colorado-based data company for the energy industry.
In many ways, however, the industry has been too successful, flooding the market with more natural gas than the country can handle at current usage. The result has been tumbling natural gas prices.
In response, the industry has changed its focus to oil, which has seen its price slip more than 20 percent in the past month, largely because of slowing economies in Europe and Asia.
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