Fresh boost from high gas prices in Elk City, Oklahoma

May 21, 2007

Elk-downtown.jpgWanda Queenan, right, the curator at the National Route 66 Musuem in Elk City, says that oil booms happen here about once every 10 years or so.

Oil comes and goes around here, she added, rolling her eyes.

Oil has certainly come again to Elk City, bringing with it jobs and new businesses.


Located above the Anadarko oil basin, this town of around 15,000 people has plenty of oil business in the past, but fell on hard times after the last boom in the 1970s.

Oil money left Elk City as gasoline prices fell, meaning it no longer made good business sense to drill so far down for the oil that lies deep beneath Elk City. An old oil drilling platform in downtown Elk City is pictured below. But as oil prices have risen, the oil companies have drifted back because they can drill that deep and still make a good profit.       

The companies that are active here include Weatherford International Ltd, Cactus Drilling Co., plus Halliburton Energy Services. There are also some less well-know names here such as Oilfield Services, LLP.

The oil companies have brought back some life and jobs to the town, but Wanda Queenan says that shed like to the money go into more than just jobs and hotels.

The oil companies have created jobs, but not enough of that money is coming into the smaller shops here, she said. They should spend more of their money here to support local businesses.

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see