Keeping the Lights On

Higher rates of oil and natural gas exploration spurred the state’s economy, according to data collected for the Oklahoma Energy Index.
The most recent energy index, using information compiled from December, showed the index finishing the year at a record 216.1 — up 11 percent from the previous year.
Following the first decline in four years from September to October, the index rebounded in November and December to end the year back on an upward tack. Beginning in September 2002, the Oklahoma Energy Index increased each month for 48 straight months.
The energy industry’s four years of growth has paid tremendous dividends to the state’s economy, said economist Karr Ingham.
Energy production accounts for 14 percent of the state’s gross domestic product. In 2002, oil and natural gas comprised about 6 percent of the state’s total economic output. In 1998, that figure was about 3.3 percent, Ingham said.
The value of crude oil production in 2006 was about $4 billion, compared to $1.6 billion in 2002. The value of natural gas production in the state was an estimated $10.4 billion in 2006 compared to about $3.7 billion in 2002.
About 12,500 counted wage and salary jobs were added directly by the industry over the last four years, about 16 percent of the roughly 76,000 total jobs added in Oklahoma over that period of time.
The OEI is a joint project of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and the office of state Secretary of Energy David Fleischaker. ?

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