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COM M E NTARY Co-ops are powering Oklahoma’s oil production


Chris Meyers General Manager, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


f you live in north central or north- west Oklahoma you know all about the “oil boom” tak- ing place in that area. There are no available hotel rooms, the local restaurants are full and “man camps” of RVs are set up at every available hook-up. Horizontal drilling


I


technology has enabled oil and gas companies to produce large quantities of oil from formations that conventional vertical drilling cannot. Once these wells are completed, oil companies need electricity to power the down-hole submersible electric pumps that bring the oil and water mix to the surface. More electric motors are required to return the water to formations below. This process requires a signifi cant amount of electrical power, often in locations where little electrical infrastruc- ture is currently available.


The new demand for electrical power far exceeds the infrastructure capabilities currently in place. While the transmission system has been more than adequate for the population and industry in the area, it falls short of the oil and gas industries’ new needs. Oil and gas wells are drilled and completed at a much faster rate than transmission lines can be


Glenn Propps President,


Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


t was autumn, 1621, and the 53 survivors of the Pilgrim colo- ny at Plymouth had much to be thankful for. Out of 102 passen- gers who had originally embarked on a May- flower journey to the so-called New World, barely more than half remained alive. A harsh winter in 1620 and the rampant spread of dis-


built—what available transmission capacity there was has been taken.


The transmission grid is an open access system made up of transmission segments owned by elec- tric cooperatives and investor-owned electric com- panies alike. Electric industry engineers, oil and gas company offi cials, and state offi cials are work- ing together with the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) to gain the approvals necessary to build additional transmission capacity. The SPP is responsible for ensuring that transmission lines are constructed in the right locations to eliminate congestion and maintain reliability at the lowest possible cost. They play an important role in the process and co- ordinate the efforts of all electric providers within their multi-state footprint. No transmission lines get built without their approval.


While this oil boom is great news for our nation, our state, and the local economies, it has created a signifi cant challenge for all Oklahoma electric providers. Most, but not all, of the new electrical demand is being served by electric cooperatives. Some electric cooperatives have doubled their sales over the last two years and will double sales again over the next two years. To put it in perspective, the typical growth in the electric industry is one to two percent per year.


Meeting the electrical needs of our oil and gas producers is a big challenge, but one we intend to meet. OL


We have so much to be thankful for! I


ease the following spring had taken their toll on this group of religious, indentured dissidents. They had, according to their pastor, John Rob- inson, fl ed England to seek ‘just and equal laws,’ a ‘separation of church and state,’ and had a lofty goal of establishing a ‘civil body politic.’ All of these ideals were contained in The Mayfl ower Compact, an interim document that governed the colonists until an offi cial charter could be obtained. Members of that fi rst Pilgrim colony would not


have survived had it not been for members of the Abnaki and Wampanoag native tribes, who taught the fl edgling colonists how to plant corn, tap maple trees for sap, and distinguish plants that offered


4 OKLAHOMA LIVING


Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


Chris Meyers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . General Manager Glenn Propps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .President Joe Harris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vice-President Jimmy Taylor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Secretary-Treasurer


Staff


Sid Sperry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Director of PR & Communications sksperry@oaec.coop


Anna Politano . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Managing Editor editor@ok-living.coop


Larry Skoch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Advertising Manager lskoch@ok-living.coop


Christy Johnson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Offi ce Manager cjohnson@oaec.coop


Kirbi Bailey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Accountant/Offi ce Manager Asst. kbailey@oaec.coop Hayley Imel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Multimedia Specialist himel@ok-living.coop Meg McElhaney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Intern intern@ok-living.coop


Editorial, Advertising and General Offi ces


P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309 Phone (405) 478-1455 Oklahoma Living online: www.ok-living.coop


Subscriptions


$3.12 per year for rural electric cooperative members. $6.00 per year for non-members.


medicinal value from those that were poisonous. You could say that, without good neighbors, America may never have prospered. Some things never change.


Today, we Americans still have much to be thankful for. Even though some may tell you that we live in troubled and turbulent times, how many of your friends and neighbors would choose to pull up stakes, sell all they have, and leave this country to live in a foreign or far-away land? Not many, I’m guessing.


We treasure our freedoms, and honor those who willingly lay down their life in order to protect them.


We appreciate the endless opportunities afford- ed to us, no matter what our ethnicity or social background.


We value honesty and hard work, the privilege of obtaining an education, and the right to speak openly.


And, like the Pilgrims, we have learned that there is nothing more powerful than cultivating friend- ships, for friendship and trust form the very foun- dation of a ‘civil body politic.’


As you contemplate the Thanksgiving holiday and all that it means, take time to remember—and reach out to—your friends and neighbors. Without them, our quality of life in America would be signifi cantly diminished. OL


Cooperative Members:: Report change of ad- dress to your local rural electric cooperative. Non-Cooperative Members: Send address changes to Oklahoma Living, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.


Oklahoma Living (ISSN 1064-8968), USPS 407-040, is published monthly for consumer-members of Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Coopera- tives, 2325 E. I-44 Service Road, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.


Circulation this issue: 314,142 Periodical postage paid at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


The Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives is a statewide service organization for the following electric cooperatives: Alfalfa, Arkansas Valley, Caddo, Canadian Valley, Central Rural, Choctaw, Cimarron, Cookson Hills, Cotton, East Central Oklahoma, Harmon, Indian, KAMO Power, Kay, Kiamichi, Kiwash, Lake Region, Northeast Oklahoma, Northfork, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Ozarks, People’s, Red River Valley, Rural, Southeastern, Southwest Rural, Tri-County, Verdigris Valley, and Western Farmers Electric Cooperative.


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