U.S., state data illustrate energy industry’s pain

The report also notes that natural gas production across the country also fell by a record 5.9 billion cubic feet per day in May.

In Oklahoma, the average daily production of the fuel declined by about 800 million cubic feet.

Those numbers help illustrate the ongoing pain being felt by the state’s oil and gas industry, the Petroleum Alliance reports.

This week, the alliance and partners BITCO Insurance and the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute at Oklahoma City University issued an Oklahoma Energy Index report that shows the industry contracted again in July.

The report states that exploration and production companies’ payrolls fell to just over 34,000 jobs during the month, a level of employment that hasn’t been that small since 2005.

Over the course of the month, Oklahoma averaged only 10 active rigs in any given week as new drilling all but stopped in the state.

“To put this in context, the last two bust cycles saw a 2009 low in rig activity of 75 and a 2016 low of 57 rigs,” said Russell Evans, executive director of the institute. “The abrupt stop in activity is without precedent in recent price cycles.”

Evans said market investors appear to have adopted a broad, false sense of security that the worst effects of the pandemic and resulting economic slowdown are behind the nation.

(Story continued below…)

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