BY Staff and Wire reports
Saturday, March 16, 2013
3/16/13 at 3:37 AM
State drilling rig count rises by seven to 187
The number of drilling rigs actively exploring for oil or natural gas in Oklahoma rose by seven this week to 187, Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.
The tally is down 20 from a year ago, when it was 207.
Nationwide, the net number of active drilling units rose by 24 this week to 1,776, according to Houston-based Baker Hughes' website.
A year ago, the U.S. rig count was 1,984.
Of the rigs operating across the country this week, 1,341, or 76 percent of the total, were drilling for oil, while 431 were exploring for gas. Four rigs were listed as miscellaneous.
Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, benchmark crude oil rose 42 cents to end the week at $93.45 per barrel.
Natural gas rose 6 cents, or 1.6 percent, to close at $3.87 per 1,000 cubic feet. It gained nearly 7 percent this week.
Early morning outage hits power customers
An equipment malfunction at a Broken Arrow power substation caused outages to more than 13,000 customers of AEP-PSO in southeast Tulsa and areas of Broken Arrow early Friday.
A lightning arrester failed at the AEP-PSO substation at 81st Street and Garnett Road around 3:30 a.m., said Stan Whiteford, a spokesman for American Electric Power-Public Service Company of Oklahoma.
Power was restored to all customers at about 5 a.m., he said.
Study of port system backed by state House
Oklahoma's ports and waterways would get a legislative look in preparation for the 2014 opening of an expanded Panama Canal.
The state House of Representatives passed a measure 91-3 on Friday to create a task force to study Oklahoma's port system. The bill now heads to the Senate.
Panama is expected to finish a $5.25 billion project to double the canal's capacity in 2014. It will give more access to shippers from the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico to Asian customers.
"With the Panama Canal reopening in 2014, the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigational System could see double the traffic ... around the ports," said bill sponsor Rep. David Brumbaugh, R-Broken Arrow.
The Tulsa Port of Catoosa handled a record 2.7 million tons of cargo in 2012; the adjacent industrial park employs about 3,600 people.
Winning streak ends at 10 on Wall Street
U.S. stock markets fell Friday, ending the longest winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average in nearly 17 years.
The Dow dropped 25.03 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14,514.11.
The Dow's win streak matched a 10-day run that ended on Nov. 15, 1996. To find a longer uninterrupted series of gains, you would have to go back to Jan. 3, 1992, when the Dow rose for 11 consecutive days.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 2.5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,560.70. The index is just shy of an all-time high reached in October 2007.
The Dow had notched a 10-day winning streak through Thursday, its longest since November 1996. The string of wins pushed the blue-chip index up 484 points, or 3.4 percent, to a Thursday close of 14,539.14. The index's closing price on Feb. 28, just before the rally began, was 14,054.49.
Trading Friday was tentative as investors feared that rising inflation could cause the Federal Reserve to retreat from policies aimed at boosting markets. The government said consumer prices increased in February at the fastest pace in more than three years.
The increase was driven by a spike in gasoline prices; the core index, which excludes the volatile energy and food categories, rose more modestly.