Oklahoma: Preparing to Become an Oil Producing Powerhouse

Oklahoma is poised to become the third-largest oil producing state following a strong surge in oil production in 2013 and 2014, Harold Hamm, Continental Resources Inc.’s CEO, told the Oklahoman newspaper.

The rise in production began when tax incentives for horizontal drilling were started. The incentives proved to be effective, Hamm said. Horizontal drilling in the state started of slowly as drillers spent time learning the best techniques. However, as drillers learned and the incentives went into effect, drillers began applying the techniques in more than 12 different plays across the state, leading to a surge in production, Hamm added.

Total oil production in the state in March, 2014 was up 17 percent over year-earlier figures, averaging 388,000 barrels of oil per day, according to figures by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). March 2014 production in the Sooner State was 49 percent over March 2012, and 80 percent over March 2010, the EIA reported.

Oklahoma is currently the number five oil producing state. However, the state could move ahead of both California and Alaska within a year or so, leaving it behind only Texas and North Dakota, the EIA said.

Oil and natural gas production in Oklahoma helped the state recover from the economic recession that began late in 2007, and approximately one-quarter of all Oklahoma jobs are directly or indirectly in the energy industry, National Public Radio’s (NPR) State Impact said.

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