Business Intelligence Report

Fridays at 6:44 a.m., 8:44 a.m., 12:35 p.m., and 5:44 p.m.

A weekly feature produced in partnership with the Journal Record, Oklahoma's weekday newspaper and website specializing in business, legislative and legal news. Managing Editor Adam Brooks and Journal Record reporters discuss business and economic development in the state.

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Former Chesapeake Energy employees leave the building with their belongings after the Sept. 29, 2015 buyouts.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

It's been a rocky five days for Oklahoma's energy sector, with downsizing, buyouts, and even a possible de-listing from the New York Stock Exchange.

Donald Trump speaks during a New Hampshire town hall meeting on August 19th, 2015 at Pinkerton Academy in Derry.
Michael Vadon / Flickr

The Oklahoma State Fair could see a noticeable economic boost from Friday's visit by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

Chesapeake Energy's Oklahoma City campus
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

It's been an interesting year for Chesapeake Energy.

The Oklahoma City-based energy giant is involved in a lawsuit with the company's founder, Aubrey McClendon, over some hazy corporate law issues involving his new company - American Energy Partners.

First National Center in Oklahoma City
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

It's September in Oklahoma, which is a pretty lousy time to shut off the air conditioner.

That's exactly what happened at the First National Center in downtown Oklahoma City this week. The 84-year-old skyscraper in downtown Oklahoma has been for sale for well over a year, and last week employees and tenants that work in the building started moving their belongings out. On Tuesday, the building's utility company shut off A/C, which affected retail businesses and restaurants on the building's first floor.

Workers uncap a well in the western Oklahoma oil field in 2014.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Slumping oil prices have fueled thousands of job losses in big energy states like Oklahoma, which is “gripped by a mini-recession,” economist Mark Snead tells the Journal Record‘s Kirby Lee Davis:

“The notion that Oklahoma has diversified away from oil and gas is, at this point, many, many years away,” he said.

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Oklahoma City covers more than 600 square miles, and completely surrounds several communities. That can lead to lost or delayed revenue, which is becoming even more problematic with the rise of so-called “gig economy” businesses like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb.

During Tuesday’s city council meeting, Oklahoma City’s assistant treasurer Matt Boggs said Oklahoma City recapture $1.1 million in lost revenue during the fiscal year that ended June 30.

A Norman Forward sign on Flood Ave. across from McKinley Elementary.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

For months, drivers around Norman have probably noticed red-and-blue "Norman Forward" signs adorning medians, parking strips, and front lawns.

On Tuesday, the City Council approved an ordinance to put a half-penny sales tax on the ballot this fall that's more or less Norman's version of Oklahoma City's MAPS 3 proposal.

Journal Record managing editor Adam Brooks says the 15-year sales tax extension's goal is to raise $209 million to fund revenue bonds.

Algae grow on the floor of the pipe room in the Hugo water plant because water leaks constantly, as shown in this late July photo.
Sarah Terry-Cobo / The Journal Record

About 7,000 residents in Hugo lived for months with unsafe drinking water because a private company improperly disinfected municipal water supplies and misreported data to local and state officials.

oil pump jack
Paul Lowry / Flickr

There’s an interesting side effect of the downturn in energy prices that started late last year – a strong trend in business sales.

After being laid off from the oil and gas sector, many former employees look to something completely different. In a lot of cases they have savings, plus a big severance package, and The Journal Record’s managing editor Adam Brooks says a business can be a good investment, and it’s a good time to buy.

Guards make their rounds on the eighth floor of the Oklahoma County Jail in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

For the past few months a committee has been looking at how to pay for a new Oklahoma County Jail, and made its recommendation on Tuesday.

The facility is only about 25 years old, but it’s had construction problems, mold, sewage in the cells – to the point where the U.S. Department of Justice stepped in and said the inmates faced violations of their constitutional rights.