Energy in Oklahoma

Energy in Oklahoma

In our world today, energy is a major source of our everyday life. It provides us with transportation and electricity. In the United States, over 500 billion dollars go to energy each year. Three main sources of energy are oil, fossil fuels, and natural gas. One of the nation’s top energy production states is Oklahoma.

Since 1859, Oklahoma has been producing energy through oil and natural gas. However, the first commercial well was discovered in 1897 outside of what is now Bartlesville. In 1907, when Oklahoma became a state, it was the largest oil producing state in the nation. The city of Tulsa claimed the name “Oil Capitol of the World.” They also established a Corporation Commission to regulate oil production and regulate waste. In 1910, the Oklahoma Natural Gas Co. installed the first compressor on a natural gas pipeline. Everything just took off from there.

After a while, Oklahoma was shipping oil all over the country. They would ship oil in wooden barrels, but typical wooden barrels became problematic because they would leak. In 1902 the companies introduced steel barrels. Although stronger then wooden barrels they would still leak. In 1905, Nellie Bly invented her own metal barrel that shipped oil more efficiently without leakage.

Other energy sources in Oklahoma are fossil fuels, and natural gas. Fossil fuels supply 85% of the nation’s energy. Our economic health depends on fossil fuels, so the DOE (Department of Energy) is overseeing 2 major fossil fuels efforts: Emergency stockpiles of crude oil and heating oil, and Research and Development of future fossil energy technologies. Also a major energy source, natural gas is used in 900 out of 1000 power plants. Natural Gas has become increasing popular for transportation.

Today in Oklahoma we are doing much better than when we started. The Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association of Oklahoma and the OERB are both dedicated to the advancement and improvement of oil and gas. In Oklahoma today, 71 out of the 77 counties have producing oil wells. In 2005 they counted 82,551 producing oil wells and 36,704 gas wells. What happens to the wells that aren’t producing oil, the OERB restores. They have restored over 7800 orphaned and abandoned well sites. In addition to restoring wells they also teach kids about oil production in Oklahoma, making it the first company of its kind. As you can see Oklahoma has improved since it first started producing oil and it will keep improving for many years to come making our state and our nation stronger and more economic.