Oklahoma oil and gas industry growing on jobs increase

The oil and gas industry in Oklahoma has hit a stride of resurgence, and experts pinpoint job growth as a key sign of improvement.

According to the latest Energy Index, which is an indicator for the state's oil and natural gas production and created by Bank SNB and the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association, the region saw 1,600 new wage and salary jobs for the sector in August 2017. This change brought the index to 171.2 points, which produced a 1.8 percent rise month over month.

"While the industry continues to recover from the recent commodity bust cycle, the recovery is modest relative to the two previous build-ups, suggesting a return to the boom side of the cycle is unlikely in the near term," Dr. Russell Evans, executive director at the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute, said in a press release.

Evans also pinpointed rising oil prices as a catalyst for the noted growth. One case for the phenomenon cited by the index is the expected jobs to come to Chickasha, Oklahoma, by early 2018. As reported by local news affiliate KOCO-TV, Optum Energy Solutions will add 80 jobs in the city.

This kind of activity could continue the trend that brought 4,700 oilfield workers into the state's workforce in August compared to the same month a year ago, according to the Energy Index.

Oklahoma added more than 4,000 oil and gas jobs from August 2016 to August 2017.