Oklahoma oil & gas

Public Domain

Oil rigs in Oklahoma are being taxed through a dual-rate structure that may not be the best method of insuring that oil and gas profits are benefiting the state in the most effective way possible.

As Oklahoma Watch reports, oil rigs are taxed at a much lower rate during their first three years. But half of a well’s lifetime oil and gas production usually occur during those first three years.

Jeff Raymond / Oklahoma Watch

Amid the budget talks during Oklahoma’s recently concluded legislative session, one of the major sticking points revolved around how much to raise the production tax on oil and gas companies.

As Oklahoma Watch notes, while Oklahoma is theoretically a two-party system, it often seems as though there’s a third party in the room during important economic discussions. That third party is the oil industry.

Jim Beckel / The Oklahoman

Attempts in the Oklahoma Legislature to fix the state’s massive budget shortfall fell apart this weekend, reports The Oklahoman.

Both chambers had hoped to reach a last minute deal to avoid a special session. But by the end of Saturday it was clear that Oklahoma lawmakers were not going to find enough common ground to avoid working overtime.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

For years Oklahoma’s oil companies have insisted they’re missing out on huge profits due to a law that prevents horizontal drilling more than a mile long. Producers have tantalized state lawmakers with indications that altering the law would fill the state’s coffers—an attractive proposition giving the state’s budget gap of almost $900 million.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma continues to see a drop in the frequency of earthquakes in the state, after fracking regulation was put in place to quell the seismic activity.

But, as The Wichita Eagle reports, regulators are working to ensure that the number of earthquakes doesn’t rise again in the Sooner State.

NewsOK.com

This week Oklahoma regulators released new regulations in hopes of further reducing the frequency of earthquakes in the Sooner State.

As The Oklahoman reports, this "fracking" plan is an expansion of previous responses to earthquakes linked to wastewater disposal wells. Recently the state has seen rapid development in the SCOOP and STACK formations in west central and south central Oklahoma. Almost half of Oklahoma’s 78 drilling rigs are in those two areas.

Ed Schipul / Creative Commons

Oil and gas officials in Oklahoma continue to celebrate OPEC’s decision to reduce its output, reports The Norman Transcript.

As Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association President Mike Terry put it, “The move is good news for Oklahoma, where the oil and natural gas industry is the backbone of the state’s economy.”

CNBC

Oklahoma oil billionaire and fervent Trump supporter Harold Hamm is tempering some of his optimism about the prospect of an oil boom under Trump.

In a speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last summer, Hamm predicted that U.S. oil production would double under Trump, creating thousands of new jobs. In the wake of OPEC’s decision to cut production, Hamm said on Thursday that he believed U.S. fracking operations could double output if they went “flat out.”

NB/Reuters

Oklahoma’s earthquake victims have joined forces, and now they’re demanding action from their lawmakers.

As KFOR reports, last week, a group of homeowners  who have been terrorized by the quakes gathered at the state capitol, asking to be heard.

Audra Cornett / CBS NEWS

Many schools in Oklahoma have switched to a four-day school week this year, reports CBS News.

In fact, as many as one on three of Oklahoma’s school districts are now closed on Mondays. Most of those school districts are in rural and poor parts of the state. The closure come in the wake of a 70 percent drop in oil and gas prices, a situation stretching back to 2014.

David McNew / Getty Images

The State of Oklahoma is asking its citizens to pray for the oil industry, reports The Week magazine.  The statewide prayer initiative will culminate on October 13th with a special breakfast event in the capital, known as Oilfield Prayer Day.

Kool Cats Photography / Flickr Creative Commons

Last week’s 5.6-magnitude earthquake in Oklahoma has now been upgraded to a 5.8, making it the highest magnitude earthquake in the state’s history.

In the wake of this massive quake, CNN Money has published an overview of what we know about these quakes.

USGS

Oklahoma fracking operations are facing a potential backlash in the wake of last week’s 5.6-magnitude earthquake, Bloomberg reports.

Last year, Oklahoma had almost 900 earthquakes of magnitude three or higher. Earlier this year Oklahoma regulators limited the disposal of oilfield wastewater in the state, hoping to prevent seismic activity. But this latest quake may trigger calls for more limits on wastewater wells in the state.

AP photo

Oklahoma’s oil and gas economy is showing the first signs of growth in nearly two years. The good news comes courtesy of an energy index used to track movement in the energy economy.

As News 9 Oklahoma reports, data collected in May showed a three-point increase in the index over the previous month. Before May, the index hadn’t shown growth since October of 2014.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Summer travel season is here, and it brings good news for Oklahoma travelers. Despite heavy demand, Oklahoma gas prices remain among the cheapest nationwide, reports The Duncan Banner.

The national average for regular gas prices continues to rise. But Oklahoma’s average has only moved up by two cents in the last three weeks. It now sits at just $2.15 a gallon.

hess.com

Many of Oklahoma’s energy companies released earnings reports last week. And the state’s economic predicament continues to grow more and more bleak, reports member station KGOU. 

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded gas has fallen to $1.71. In Oklahoma, the prices could soon dip below a dollar. The state hasn’t seen average gasoline prices this low in 15 years.

Natalie Maynor / Flickr Creative Commons

Towns in western Oklahoma rely on two key factors to keep their economies running smoothly: agriculture and oil. When oil and gas profits plummet, communities suffer. Those in the oil industry are most directly affected, obviously. But the downturn can affect all industries. Equities.com recently profiled the town of Laverne in northwest Oklahoma. A Laverne oil pumping service called General Inc. recently laid off 15 percent of its workers, with more layoffs possible.