KGOU

oil and gas

Kool Cats Photography / Flickr Creative Commons

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. plunged by 98 this week to 1,358 amid depressed oil prices.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,056 rigs were exploring for oil and 300 for gas. Two were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago 1,764 rigs were active.

A rig hand on a Triad Energy horizontal drilling operation near Alva, Okla. Company CEO Mike McDonald says he likely wouldn't have drilled the well with out a tax break Oklahoma's House Speaker has proposed making permanent.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma City-based Chaparral Energy is the second energy company in the city to announce layoffs this week.

Chaparral announced Tuesday that it is laying off 121 employees at its Oklahoma City headquarters. Chaparral CEO and Chairman Mark Fischer said low oil prices is a reason for the layoffs.

Fischer said he expects oil prices to rise, but can't predict when that will happen so the company is reducing its capital, operating and administrative costs.

Meredithw / Flickr Creative Commons

A monthly business survey suggests only modest economic growth is likely in nine Midwestern and Plains states this spring because the agriculture and energy sectors are slowing.

The report released Monday says the overall economic index for the region improved slightly to 54.8 in January from December's 54.4.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says growth for companies outside of energy and agriculture should offset the declines in those sectors.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. tumbled by 74 this week to 1,676.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report 1,366 rigs were exploring for oil and 310 for gas. A year ago 1,777 rigs were active.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas' count dove by 44, North Dakota dropped six, Oklahoma fell five, California and Wyoming each lost four and New Mexico declined by three. Arkansas, Kansas and West Virginia were down two each and Colorado, Louisiana and Utah were off one apiece.

Oklahoma Treasurer Ken Miller
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma's treasurer says the state's economy performed well to close out 2014, but that continued low oil prices will eventually start to drag down other sources of revenue like income and sales taxes.

Treasurer Ken Miller released figures on Wednesday that show overall collections by the state in December and in 2014 exceeded those from the prior year. But he warned that December oil and gas production taxes reflect oil field activity from October, when oil prices were around $85 per barrel.

Journal Record

An Oklahoma City-based natural gas exploration and production company says it will merge two affiliates to form one of the largest energy companies in Appalachia.

American Energy Partners LP said Monday that American Energy-Utica LLC and American Energy-Marcellus LLC will merge with more than 300,000 acres in the natural gas-rich Utica and Marcellus shales in eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia.

The new company, American Energy Appalachia Holdings LLC, will be wholly owned by current shareholders of the two American Energy affiliates.

With billboards pointing toward Oklahoma City and messages about booming careers and less traffic in Oklahoma City, Continental Resources is promoting itself in Houston. The energy company is making a connection, as revealed on online applications.
Continental Resources / The Journal Record

Oklahoma City made national headlines last week when a few stations on the south side started selling gasoline for less than $2 per gallon.

Friday morning West Texas Intermediate crude oil was trading below $60 per barrel, with Brent crude right around $63.

Attorneys general in at least a dozen states are working with energy companies and other corporate interests, which in turn are providing them with record amounts of money for their political campaigns, including at least $16 million this year.

Left-to-right: Economists Robert Dauffenbach, Russell Evans, Mickey Hepner, and Dan Rickman during a panel discussion moderated by Oklahoma City advertising executive Rhonda Hooper
Carrie Snodgrass / Greater Oklahoma City Chamber

Several economists praised Oklahoma's metro areas as engines of growth, but criticized state leaders for failing to plan for the long term.

Bonnie Vculek
Enid News & Eagle

Key industry tax breaks in Oklahoma have more than doubled over the past four years and are now costing the state well over half a billion dollars a year, state records show.

The two dozen business tax breaks combined grew from $356 million in 2010 to $760 million in 2014. The 2014 figure is equivalent to just over 10 percent of the state’s $7.2 billion budget, and more than the state spends every year on prisons and public safety.

A Frack Free Denton booth at the University of North Texas. On Nov. 4, voters approved a citywide ban on hydraulic fracturing.
Crystal J. Hollis / Flickr

Driven by water worries, safety questions and quality of life concerns, residents in Oklahoma and states around the country have pushed for citywide bans on hydraulic fracturing.

Many of those efforts have proved successful, but, in the end, fracking bans might be more about lawyers than voters.

A drilling rig in far northwest Oklahoma City.
Kool Cats Photography / Flickr Creative Commons

Crude oil prices have plummeted to the lowest level in three years, a slump analysts say is fueled by reduced demand due to stalling growth in Europe and China, andbooming supply from domestic production in the U.S.

In Oklahoma — a state where, historically, finances have risen and fallen with the fortunes of the energy industry — the tumbling oil price has been met with different reactions from oil and gas company executives, economists and state finance officials.

Oklahoma 12-Month Gross Receipts September 2014
Office of the State Treasurer

 

In a report from the Office of the State Treasurer, revenue collections during September grew by more than 8 percent over receipts from the same month of the prior year, the highest monthly growth rate since April of last year.  State Treasurer Ken Miller announced the revenue increases today as he released the September Gross Receipts to the Treasury report during a State Capitol news conference.

Close-up of a Pump Jack
neillharmer / Flickr

A Houston-based energy company plans to close its office in Oklahoma City and eliminate up to 97 full-time jobs. 

The Oklahoman reported that HighMount Exploration and Production LLC announced the plans in a letter to the Oklahoma Commerce Department.

The company plans to lay off 48 employees between October 24 and November 3 and says additional cuts are planned.

Last May, Loews Corp. announced the possibility of selling its wholly owned subsidiary HighMount and in August announced the sale.

-----

Chesapeake Energy Headquarters
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

A northern Michigan judge plans to issue a ruling on whether Chesapeake Energy should stand trial on racketeering charges that accuse it of leasing land to thwart competitors and then canceling the deals when the competition ended.

U.S. Energy Information Agency

There were 211 drilling rigs operating in Oklahoma last week, the state’s highest level in almost six years, Bloomberg’s Lynn Doan and Richard Stubbe report.

well site
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The 5.7-magnitude earthquake that struck near Prague, Okla., in November 2011 toppled Sandra Ladra’s chimney, raining rocks “on her lap and legs.”

Ladra on Aug. 4 filed a lawsuit against energy companies that operate disposal wells she claims caused the quake. She is seeking $75,000 in actual damages plus punitive damages, the Journal Record‘s D. Ray Tuttle reports.

Source: Oklahoma Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Commission

Trains carrying 1 million more gallons of crude oil from the Bakken formation are expected to cross 20 Oklahoma counties each week, data from the Oklahoma Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Commission show.

Explosive, deadly derailments and fiery accidents have raised safety concerns about rail transport of North Dakota Bakken crude oil, which tests suggest might be more explosive than other types of crude oil.

Oklahoma City attorney and legislative watchdog Jerry Fent, who has successfully challenged laws in the past, comes out of a hearing room at the State Supreme Court, where a referee heard his lawsuit over House Bill 2562.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The State Supreme Court on July 29 heard a lawsuit and constitutional challenge to House Bill 2562, a measure that would change the effective state tax rate levied on oil and gas production.

Both parties agreed that the measure was written to reduce taxes, but is HB 2562 a “revenue bill?” That definition is important because this court battle isn’t about policy, it’s about procedure.

Retired Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent.
Brent Fuchs/Journal Record

A state Supreme Court referee heard a lawsuit Tuesday over a recently signed bill that was written to lower taxes for oil and gas drilling. The outcome of the constitutional challenge could go well beyond Oklahoma’s oil field.

Oklahoma City attorney and legislative watchdog Jerry Fent filed the lawsuit in June.

He argues the oil and gas tax bill is invalid because the Legislature ignored extra procedural burdens voters in the ‘90s placed on “revenue bills.” 

Pages