Pluggin In business briefs for Feb. 28

Pluggin In business briefs for Feb. 28
Modified: February 27, 2014 at 10:13 pm •  Published: February 28, 2014

PLUGGING IN

Oil, gas industry keeps expanding

Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry continues to expand, the Oklahoma Energy Index revealed Thursday. The index is a comprehensive measure of the state’s oil and gas production economy. It showed a slight increase in industry activity in January, rising 0.64 percent from December. Officials said the gains were driven by higher natural gas prices, more active rigs and a strong showing by publicly traded companies in the index’s portfolio. “We continue to see customers in the industry identify and evaluate new opportunities within Oklahoma, which echoes that optimism. So far, it appears to be a promising start to 2014,” said Chris Mostek, vice president of energy lending at Bank SNB, which sponsors the index with the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute at Oklahoma City University. Institute Executive Director Russell Evans said the index has increased five of the past six months, showing the strength of the state’s economy. “As the state’s single most-defining industry, movements in oil and gas activity are a precursor to changes in the state’s economic climate,” Evans said.

Petroflow seeks acquisition

Equal Energy Ltd. will not pay a dividend for the first quarter as set out in the terms of its agreement with Petroflow Energy Corp. Tulsa-based Petroflow has offered to acquire all outstanding shares of Equal for $5.43 each. Equal shareholders have been asked to approve the deal at the company’s annual meeting in April.

Gulfport to buy more properties

Gulfport Energy Corp. is buying additional properties in the Utica Shale. Kentucky-based Rhino Resource Partners LP announced Wednesday it had entered into a binding letter of intent to sell its Utica holdings to Gulfport for about $185 million. Gulfport has leased about 165,000 acres in the Utica, the company said in a presentation released Wednesday.

SmartHours customers sought

Customers of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. can receive incentives for signing up before summer for the electric utility’s SmartHours program. “By switching to our SmartHours summer price plan early, our customers can still take advantage of the free programmable communicating thermostat and have it installed before our busy enrollment season begins,” said Angela Nichols, OG&E’s director of marketing. During thermostat installation, an OG&E installer will inspect and seal the customer’s main plenum ductwork free of charge. Customers who enroll by March 31 also will receive a free home energy efficiency kit, which includes weatherstrip, caulk and an LED light bulb. Last summer, OG&E said SmartHours customers saved an average of $150 during June through September by shifting their electricity use outside 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. For more information, go to www.myOGEpower.com.

Continue reading this story on the...