Live updates: Latest information on coronavirus in OklahomaCOVID-19 in Oklahoma: 322 positive cases, 8 dead

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

The Oklahoman business cover briefs for Jan. 18, 2020

Oklahoma rig count grows

Baker Hughes reported Friday that the number of rigs drilling for oil and natural gas increased by one in Oklahoma this week, while the national count also climbed. Oklahoma's count this week is 53, down 73 from 126 one year ago.

Nationwide, the active rig count increased by 15 to 796, down 254 from 1,050 one year ago. The count for rigs drilling for oil increased by 14, to 673. The number of rigs searching for natural gas increased one, to 120. The number of miscellaneous rigs operating this week is three.

The number of rigs working in the Cana Woodford remained unchanged week-over-week, at 21. The most active basins this week, Baker Hughes said, are the Permian in west Texas and southeast New Mexico at 403, the south Texas Eagle Ford at 69, the Williston at 53, the Haynesville at 45 and the Marcellus at 41.

Panhandle CEO selected

Panhandle Oil and Gas announced Friday that the company's directors have selected interim CEO Chad L. Stephens to take the post permanently.

Officials said Stephens, who also serves on Panhandle’s board, has nearly 40 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, including 16 years as the senior vice president of corporate development at Range Resources before he retired from that company at the end of 2018.

Stephens holds a bachelor's degree in finance and land management from the University of Texas.

"Chad is a very capable executive with proven leadership and operations expertise gained from his decades of experience in the oil and gas industry,” said Mark T. Behrman, Panhandle's lead independent director. “We are confident that our executives, employees and stockholders will benefit greatly from Chad's skills and expertise as he successfully executes our business strategy."

Stephens stepped in to be Panhandle’s CEO on an interim basis in August when Paul F. Blanchard Jr. resigned from that post.

Staff reports