Northwest Oklahoma Alliance held its first regular meeting of 2019 Thursday at the Woodward Conference Center.
Oklahoma Oil & Gas Industry Trends was the topic of the networking luncheon. Chad Warmington president of the newly merged Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and Oklahoma Oil & Gas Association (OIPA-OKOGA) presented statistics supporting Oklahoma’s advantages in the industry. He said if he could have another title to his talk, it would be "Taxes, Teachers and Earthquakes, Oh my!"
Warmington noted this is the 100 year anniversary of the OKOGA. In that whole time, the organization only had five presidents and was made up of mostly larger corporate members, refiners and marketers.
OIPA was founded in 1955, a majority of its members being small independents.
“So yeah really kind of two different cultures. So that was really the need for those two associations,” Warmington said. “As we had the industry mature over the last few years, I think the old gas industry really has started to merge around really kind of common technology and common issues.”
Too many voices and too many opinions put legislators in a tough position, trying to make decisions based on an industry divided against itself, according to Warmington. Now the industry is more united
“It's really fantastic to be part of that, you know a lot of people who know our histories and organizations can't believe we did it and it's been really neat to be a part of the process of taking really, you know, a hundred years worth of culture or 63 years of culture and mashing them together,” Warmington said.
In taxes, Warmington said has a very clean tax code for the oil and gas industry. The percentage is set at seven percent right now with no incentives, credits or deductions. Yet, Oklahoma is competitive with other states at about a 13.7 percent total tax burden.
“So if you're looking to do business in Oklahoma, and assuming the legislature doesn't do anything, it's a really clean tax code. No other state has that,” Warmington said.
For teachers, Warmington went through statistics citing $211 billion dollars from oil and gas tax has gone into education in the last 10 years. He stressed how oil and gas supports and relies on teachers to educate students in the science, technology and engineering needed to work in the industry.
Earthquakes are down 80 percent and continuing to drop by regulating disposal injection, according to Warmington.
Warmington said in the last nine months the U.S. has surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia as the number one producer and has now just beat Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest exporter of oil products.
“Oklahoma is even more dependent on the oil and gas industry than almost any time in our history and I think that is something policy makers are going to be struggling with,” Warmington said. “Basically, this is the golden goose. Let’s work together to help protect it.”
Warmington said the best thing for Washington to do for the oil and gas industry is just to leave it alone.
“This is what my legislative agenda is for the year. Leave us alone. We don't want anything. Leave us alone and we’ll be fine,” Warmington said.
The next meeting and legislative event will be March 25 in Oklahoma City at the Oklahoma History Center.