- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A new Oklahoma City University study has found nearly one out of every five jobs created in the state is connected to the oil and gas industry.

The Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute findings were released Wednesday. The study was commissioned by the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board, which promotes the industry.

Oil and gas jobs accounted for less than 5 percent of the state’s total employment in 2012. But the study found the industry added more than 20 percent of the 61,000 jobs created in Oklahoma since 2010.

Oklahoma was ranked fifth in the nation for crude oil production last year. The institute’s executive director, Russell Evans, said he predicts the state may surpass Alaska and California over the next few years to claim the No. 3 spot.

The state was ranked fourth in natural gas production in 2013, with 7.11 percent of the total nation’s supply.

“There’s no surprises here,” Evans said. “The magnitude of the numbers may be a surprise, but the reality that the oil and gas is still driving the economic activity.”

He said the industry represented nearly $1 of every $3 of Oklahoma’s gross state product. The gross production taxes on oil and natural gas production amounted to $513 million in state revenue in fiscal year 2013.

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Information from: The Norman Transcript, http://www.normantranscript.com

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