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Today is Oilfield Prayer Day in Oklahoma

Some economic metrics in the state are at least at four-year lows.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Today is Oilfield Prayer Day in Oklahoma
Thursday marks a day of prayer for the oil sector in Oklahoma, according to a decree signed by the governor. Photo by UPI/Shutterstock/Africa Studio

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- According to a proclamation made by the state governor, Thursday marks a day of prayer for the oil sector in the shale-rich state of Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin revised a proclamation that called on Christians to observe Oct. 13 as a day of prayer for the oil sector to include members of all faiths. The decree states that people of all faiths recognize oil was "created by God." The state government, for its part, recognized oil and gas companies have made significant contributions to the economy, as well as having a "faith-based impact."

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"Therefore, I, Mary Fallin, governor, do hereby proclaim Oct. 13, 2016, as Oilfield Prayer Day," the proclamation states.

Oklahoma is one of the most significant producers of crude oil in the United States, accounting for about 4 percent of the nation's total. It hosts some of the largest deposits of shale oil in the country and the trading hub in Cushing is considered the most significant entity of its kind in North America.

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Chad Wilkerson, the branch executive for the regional Federal Reserve office, reports state unemployment is moving against the national tide as the downturn for oil and gas sectors spills over into other labor pools like manufacturing.

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Gross production taxes from the oil and gas sector, meanwhile, brought in $31.5 million in September, down 14 percent from the previous month. September's downturn marked the 21st straight month for a year-on-year contraction. The state Treasury Department said some economic metrics were the lowest they've been in four years.

"As has been the story for almost two years, Oklahoma is feeling the effects of a supply-driven downturn in energy prices that has spilled over into the rest of the economy," Treasurer Ken Miller said in a statement.

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Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in late September offered a proposal to control production levels in an effort to narrow the gap between supply and demand, thereby lifting crude oil prices. If the deal sticks, Miller said the negative cycle in the state energy sector could turn around.

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