Economists: Oklahoma oil industry continues to strengthen
by Adam Wilmoth

Strengthening oil prices and a stable national economy are helping to boost the still-recovering Oklahoma oil and natural gas industry, economists said this week.

Energy executives have spent much of the past two years cutting costs, improving efficiencies and helping their companies profit at prices previously believed to be too low to support shale production.

After dipping again in the first half of the year, oil prices have surged 29 percent over the past five months, gaining 73 cents Thursday to $56.69 a barrel.

“My hope is now that we’ve passed the $55 mark that we stay above that,” said Robert Dauffenbach, director of the Center for Economic and Management Research at the Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma.

“I’m hoping that will be our new base and that we can look for prices in the 60s. I’m very optimistic longer term.”

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