Find the pulse of the energy market in Oklahoma, and you can typically locate the heartbeat of the state’s overall economy.
That was among the many takeaways of Mark Snead, who spoke Thursday at the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s State of the Economy event at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center
“Eighty-dollar-a-barrel plus is extremely positive for the state,” said Snead, alluding to the price of crude oil. “We’re roughly in that range right now. We’ve been above it in much of the recovery cycle.
“… We’re at $7 natural gas right now. It is very unusual for both oil and gas to be at extremely high levels at the same time.”
The result of that phenomenon is record valuations of oil and gas production, he said.
“This produces really high, top-line revenue for the industry that spills over to the public in terms of royalties,” Snead said. “It also spills over to the government sector in terms of severance tax revenue despite the fact that we’re seeing very little increase in rig counts, and we’ve actually seen very little net new hiring in the oil and gas sector.
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“This is really reflecting what we think the intermediate and possibly the long-term view of this is going to be for Oklahoma. You are going to have a smaller industry but one that is probably way more profitable and solid from a financial point of view.”
Mark Snead is president of RegionTrack, an Oklahoma City-based economic research firm. Before a crowd of about 350, he discussed the local and state economic climate Thursday after Scott Colbert, chief economist for the Commerce Trust Company, delivered the national outlook.
The chamber’s annual State of the Economy event is designed to educate Tulsa-area business leaders of economic indicators that could impact business performance in the year ahead.
Snead also noted that Oklahoma and Tulsa will experience a sharp slowing in hiring in 2023. Housing will continue to be hit hard — more volume than price — he said. But overall, the economist said, the state and Tulsa will face few fiscal concerns in the coming year.
“Tulsa is looking good on literally every long-run type growth fundamental you can pull out of the hat,” Snead said. “Our outlook is cautionary.
“It (the economy) is going to slow. Don’t doubt that the Fed has the ability and the willingness and the wherewithal and maybe the stubbornness to make it slow. It’s coming in 2023. But we think they really have a really good chance to land it softly.”
At the close of Thursday’s program, officials updated Tulsa’s Future: Acceleration fundraising campaign. Since January, it has raised $3,162,433 in annual commitments and $7,946,300 in three-year commitments from 132 businesses and regional and tribal partners.
Tulsa’s Future is northeast Oklahoma’s regional economic development partnership supported by public and private investors and led by the Tulsa Regional Chamber.
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