Top Business Stories: Earthquake Insurance, Energy, Hogs And Yukon

Jun 23, 2014

United States Geological Survey Oklahoma Seismicity Map - 1970 to June 17, 2014
United States Geological Survey Oklahoma Seismicity Map - 1970 to June 17, 2014
Credit USGS / www.earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes

Strong Earthquakes In Central Oklahoma Have Some Looking For Insurance That May Be Difficult To Get.

About 100 companies offer quake insurance in Oklahoma, the state insurance commissioner says. But most of them won’t start a policy until we have gone without a quake for 30 days.

Since November, there have been more than 265 events between magnitude 1 and 4.3 in Central Oklahoma.

State insurance commissioner John Doak said homeowners should protect themselves by learning what’s available. If they add quake coverage, they need to make sure they understand how the deductible works.

Scientists still aren’t sure what’s causing the swarm of quakes. There are some indications it’s tied to energy companies using deep wells to dispose of hydraulic fracturing fluids.

Dan Ramsey, President of Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma
Dan Ramsey, President of Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma
Credit Brent Fuchs/Journal Record

Some Local Energy Companies Made Big Moves Last Week In The Midstream Market.

Tulsa’s Williams Companies agreed to pay nearly $6 billion dollars for Access Midstream Partners.

Access is a fairly new company. It spun off from Chesapeake Energy in 2012 and was purchased by Global Infrastructure Partners. After the purchase, Access would merge with a subsidiary known as Williams Partners.

Wall Street apparently liked the idea. Williams stock ended last week around $47 dollars, and traded  above $57 most of this week.

American Energy Partners, which is run by former Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon, also announced that it wants to play in the midstream space.

The company created a new subsidiary, called American Energy Midstream, to invest in pipelines and compressors.

Analysts said that sector of the market is growing, because companies need more capacity to get hydrocarbons to the market.

Hog pen
Hog pen
Credit Journal Record file photo

A Virus Is Cutting Into Swine Herds.

The federal government issued an order earlier this month to the pork industry. It requires them to report outbreaks of a disease known as PED.

Oklahoma is one of the hardest hit states. About 8 percent of the state’s 2.3 million hogs have died.

Producers said that losing animals that they’ve raised from birth has an emotional impact.

It also affects the business. Reduced supplies mean higher prices in the market. Domestic prices rose 40 percent in recent months, and export prices are 10 percent higher than last year.

Vets say that PED cannot be passed to people.

Construction site Yukon, Oklahoma
Construction site Yukon, Oklahoma
Credit Brent Fuchs/Journal Record

Yukon Is Developing Into Something More Than Just A Suburb Of Oklahoma City.

Growth really started 13 years ago when Integris built the Canadian Valley Hospital there. The hospital employs nearly 400 people. It also draws people from western Oklahoma. They come to see a doctor, and stay to have a meal or shop.

That traffic, plus offices for energy companies working in western Oklahoma, has helped the city make money. Sales tax collection rose from $14 million in 2009 to $18.4 million in $2013.

The school district has grown from 5,000 students in 2000 to more than 8,000. Students also enjoy a new high school, and a new stadium. A new pro soccer team also plans to play there starting next year.

A 787,000 square foot retail area is also shaping up, and the executive director of the chamber of commerce says Yukon could be the next Edmond.

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