Oil and natural gas companies and those they do business with have a new tool to help explain and forecast trends within the industry.
The Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and Oklahoma City University's Meinders School of Business on Thursday released the revived Oklahoma Energy Index, which provides a look at the health of the energy industry in Oklahoma.
The index shows how the oil and gas industry in the state has fared since January 2000.
“The index tries to consolidate a bunch of information into one easy number,” said Russell Evans, the economist who assembles the index. “The benefit is having a way where every month you can have a sense of how things changed.”
Evans is executive director of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute at OCU. His index is based on oil and natural gas prices, rig counts, industry employment levels and a portfolio of seven Oklahoma City and Tulsa-based oil and gas companies.
The index is similar to an index by the same name OIPA and the Meinders School released from 2004 to 2008.
The new Energy Index uses somewhat different methodology and uses January 2000 as a starting point rather than 1995 like the previous incarnation.
“A tool like the energy index gives our members and the general public a better understanding of the impact the oil and gas industry has through job creation and wealth building,” OIPA spokesman Cody Bannister said.
The energy index is designed to create a more complete picture of the oil patch by combining economic categories often not included.
One challenge with tracking the influence of the oil patch is that it stretches into other industries. Economists usually consider pipeline and trucking activity as transportation, and refining is counted as manufacturing.