KGOU

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. Editor Ted Streuli and Journal Record reporters discuss business and economic development in the state.

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SandRidge Energy
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

One of Oklahoma City’s major energy producers unveiled its latest earnings reports earlier this week.

It wasn’t good news – it really hasn’t been for any of the state’s energy giants as they continue to feel the effects of this nearly two-year downturn in commodity prices . On Tuesday, SandRidge Energy announced it lost $74 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 – down 58 percent year-over-year and missing Wall Street expectations.

New Source Energy Partners is headquartered at 914 N. Broadway Ave. in Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

It’s been more than 18 months since the start of the energy downturn that saw the price of oil dip to about $30 dollars a barrel.

It’s slowly starting to rebound, and it’s led to bankruptcies, a few success stories, and even some variables that have nothing to do with market forces.

Last week New Source Energy Partners filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The small company based in an office along Broadway in Oklahoma City’s Automobile Alley had a credit cut in October that took its borrowing base from $49 million to $24 million.

A bartender pours a glass of wine at Cafe 501 in Edmond.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Oklahoma’s $1.3 billion budget shortfall has dominated news coverage of the 2016 legislative session, but one of the bills the public is most interested in is a proposal to overhaul the state’s alcohol laws.

The new Norman Regional Moore during the final stages of construction, March 2016.
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Oklahoma saw its first taste of severe weather in 2016 earlier this week, and it’s the time of year when people start reflecting on past events and disasters.

The 2013 series of storms devastated the suburb of Moore, with two dozen deaths, the destruction of two elementary schools, and the leveling of the Moore Medical Center between Telephone Road and Interstate 35.

A little less than two months from now the new Norman Regional Health System facility is scheduled to open on that same site.

Provided

Two days after his surprising death, civic and industry leaders remembered Aubrey McClendon as a pioneer and a visionary in oil and natural gas drilling. But if you talk to current and former employees, they keep using one word: genuine.

A building on the Chesapeake Energy Corporation campus.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Last week major Oklahoma energy players Devon and Williams Companies unveiled their latest earnings reports, showing huge fourth-quarter losses. The news wasn’t any better this week for Oklahoma City oil and gas giants Chesapeake Energy and Continental Resources also posted significant losses.

oil pump jack
Paul Lowry / Flickr

It’s been another volatile week for Oklahoma’s energy industry, and many of the state’s oil and gas companies released earnings report for the final quarter of 2015 that continue to paint a grim portrait of the economic downturn.

 

Workers erect scaffolding outside the First National Center building in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Council discussed making changes to the tax increment finance district, or TIF, for the area affected by MAPS projects.

The council wants to increase the budget for the downtown MAPS district – adding $40 million to bring the total to $165 million.

“The says that the investment so far has already brought in $1.8 billion in private money, and adding the $40 million would bring in another $1 billion,” said The Journal Record’s managing editor Adam Brooks.

Five years ago, Tonia Sina was diagnosed with a blood-clotting disorder called atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome.
Photo illustration by Brent Fuchs and Bryan M. Richter / The Journal Record

There’s no shortage of issues to address when it comes to the $900-million-and-counting budget shortfall over the next four months of legislative session.

The number could grow larger when the Board of Equalization certifies new numbers later this month. In Gov. Mary Fallin’s executive budget unveiled Monday during her State of the State address, most state agencies will see a 6 percent cut. Some, like the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, will take a smaller 3 percent hit.

Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Two Oklahoma energy companies announced key business decisions this – one took on more debt, and the other cut spending by $1 billion.

It’s been a rocky few months for SandRidge Energy – the company’s stock has been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, and has been in a dispute with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission over compliance with wastewater directives in earthquake-prone areas. On Monday, the Oklahoma City-based company announced it would borrow $488 million to pay for general corporate operations.

Customers enter a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Luther. It is one of six stores the company is closing in Oklahoma.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

On Tuesday, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber president Roy Williams said the U.S. Department of Justice will hold off on suing Oklahoma County over issues at the jail just west of downtown.

The jail has had problems for years, and in 2008 Oklahoma County entered a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice to fix overcrowding and repair issues at the facility just west of downtown.

The site of the MAPS 3 park in downtown Oklahoma City.
Samuel Perry / The Journal Record

Ever since the 2009 passage of the MAPS 3 sales tax incentive that would fund a series of civic project in Oklahoma City, residents have been waiting for the park.

The so-called "core-to-shore" vision would connect the Myriad Botanical Gardens with the Oklahoma River, with an already-built pedestrian bridge bisecting Interstate 40 and connecting the two halves of the 70-acre greenbelt.

SandRidge Energy in downtown Oklahoma City.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

After months of speculation, the New York Stock Exchange delisted SandRidge Energy after threatening to do so for month, citing an "abnormally low" stock price as its reasoning.

Chesapeake Energy employees leave buildings after layoffs were reported Sept. 29, 2015.
Brent Fuchs / Journal Record

The downturn in energy prices dominated the news cycle in Oklahoma in 2015, affecting the bottom line of every oil and natural gas producer, the state’s budget, and had countless trickle-down effects in a state with an economy so reliant on the energy sector.

The price plummet actually started in June 2014, when oil was still above $100 per barrel. They rapidly declined, beginning 2015 at around $55, and currently sit in the $30-40 range.

Recently appointed Labor Commissioner Melissa McLawhorn Houston introduces herself to employees at the Oklahoma Department of Labor in Oklahoma City on December 1, 2015.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

A little over a month ago Gov. Mary Fallin named Melissa Houston the state’s new Labor Commissioner. She accepted the job after Labor Commissioner Mark Costello was stabbed to death in August.

A sign advertising Thanksgiving weekend hours hangs in a window at Hancock Fabrics in Edmond.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

It’s officially “Black Friday.”

The day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year, but retail polling firm CivicScience expects to see 3 percent fewer people out shopping this year, which comes after down sales in 2014 as well.

Bethany Hardzinski / KGOU

On Tuesday, the first organized resistance to Oklahoma’s “right-to-farm” movement gathered at the state Capitol to voice their opposition to State Question 777, which will put the issue before a vote of the people in November 2016.

Some background: right-to-farm is the idea there’s a guaranteed, unalienable right for farmers and ranchers to earn a living free from government intervention.

An oil and gas operation in northwestern Oklahoma's Mississippi Lime formation.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

As SandRidge Energy struggles with $4.6 billion in debt and a faltering stock price that’s threatening its listing on the New York Stock Exchange, the Oklahoma City oil and gas company is facing another problem: Earthquakes and new regulations designed to slow the shaking:

A sign advertising job opportunities is displayed at the entrance of a Target store at 1200 E. Second St. in Edmond.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

It seems hard to believe, but November 6 marks three weeks until Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year and (depending on who you ask) the official launching point of the holiday season.

But retailers across Oklahoma are already starting to hire their seasonal workforce to keep up with the sharp spike in demand for goods and services.

Nationwide, big box retailers like Target say they’ll hire about 70,000 people, and Wal-Mart plans to bring on 60,000 new workers, according to Journal Record managing editor Adam Brooks.

Midtown Plaza Court
Kool Cats Photography / Wikimedia Commons

Back in June, the Oklahoma City Council voted to annex Midtown into the Downtown business improvement district, or BID.

The marketing, street furnishing, and the maintenance of the neighborhood will be overseen by the civic and development group Downtown Oklahoma City, Incorporated.

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