Week in review
BY LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer
Sunday, December 02, 2012
12/02/12 at 3:17 AM
Tulsa County tops in state in personal income
Metro Tulsa's personal income rose in 2011 just as it did for all 366 metropolitan statistical areas across the nation, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Tulsa County's per capita personal income ranked first among Oklahoma's 77 counties, and the per capita incomes for Tulsa County and metro Tulsa both exceeded the U.S. average of $41,560, the BEA report said.
Last year marked the first time since 2007 that all metros saw their personal income rise, the agency reported.
Personal income is a measure of the income received by all residents from all sources.
Metro Tulsa's total personal income of $39.9 billion in 2011 was up from $37.2 billion in 2010. The 7.6 percent growth rate put the Tulsa area at No. 20 out of all the nation's metros, according to the BEA.
Tulsa's oil and gas industry helped contribute to the rise in personal income, just as it did for some other areas in the country, said Bob Ball, the Tulsa Metro Chamber's economist.
"A lot of it has to do with the oil industry," he said. "We really need to be thankful we have it. It's quite an anchor and a foundation."
- LAURIE WINSLOW, World Staff Writer
ONEOK Partners LP cancels pipeline plan
Tulsa-based ONEOK Partners LP announced Tuesday it has decided not to build the Bakken Crude Express Pipeline from North Dakota to Oklahoma due to a lack of long-term commitments by oil producers to use the 1,300-mile conduit.
The $1.8 billion project was going to be natural gas-focused ONEOK Partner's entry into the booming U.S. crude oil infrastructure market.
"Despite the robust outlook for crude-oil supply growth in the Williston Basin in the Bakken Shale, we did not receive sufficient long-term commitments under the terms we needed to construct the Bakken Crude Express Pipeline," said Terry K. Spencer, ONEOK Partners president.
The Bakken Crude Express hit a legal snag in September when Houston-based Barcas LLC sued ONEOK Partners over a deal to secure commitments for the line.
Barcas alleged that ONEOK Partners violated a multimillion-dollar agreement between the two parties reached earlier this year. The lawsuit alleged that Barcas started work contacting potential customers such as Samson, ConocoPhillips and Marathon, but ONEOK Partners sent its own people to secretly meet with those producers and cut Barcas out of the deal.
ONEOK Partners denied any wrongdoing.
- ROD WALTON, World Staff Writer
River cargo system closing for repairs
Shipping on the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System will be halted for three weeks for emergency repairs to a lock and dam in Arkansas, shutting down a vital economic engine in northeast Oklahoma.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers informed officials this week that they plan to close the Montgomery Point Lock & Dam near Tichner, Ark., beginning Saturday.
"The industries much prefer a scheduled outage so it gives them time to work around the problem, but we just didn't have that option this time," said Gil Wooten, chief of operations for the technical support branch of the Corps' Little Rock District.
Factory managers and shipping companies at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa are now scrambling to find a way to move shipments and get equipment while the waterway is down, said Bob Portiss, director of the port.
"Managers hate it because what they are having to do is reroute shipments that would normally have to go out by water," he said. "It takes time to make those arrangements and costs more money."
- KYLE ARNOLD, World Staff Writer
October home sales up 19.8 percent over 2011
September's negative year-over-year home sale comparison may prove to be an anomaly, as the October 2012 total bested that of the previous year by a wide margin.
The Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors reported Wednesday that 1,006 properties changed hands in October, up 19.8 percent from the same month last year.
That was just behind October 2008, which at 1,024 sales was the second-best October in the past five years. October 2009, with 1,150 home sales, was at the top during the five-year stretch.
This year, sales through Oct. 31 reached 9,885, which is 14.8 percent ahead of the first 10 months of 2011 and higher than any other similar time periods except for the 10,580 homes sold during the first 10 months of 2008.
September's disappointing total brought a surprise end to a 17-month streak of year-over-year gains; it fell short of September 2011 by 7.8 percent.
GTAR president Rodger Erker, said it's unclear why local sales slowed down and swung back into gear so quickly.
"There was such a huge surge of sales in the summer that there might have been a brief delay in demand," he said.
Erker said stronger consumer confidence, relatively low unemployment and low interest rates continue to drive sales.
- ROBERT EVATT, World Staff Writer
A chandelier hangs in Ed Taylor's House of Four Seasons, which will be auctioned, in south Tulsa. The 20,000-square-foot mansion, which features nine working fireplaces, will go up for auction Dec. 18. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World