Oil industry workers fear it may be 2021 before recovery is possible

Maureen Wurtz | KTUL Tulsa

The oil business accounts for one-third of Oklahoma’s economy.

When it’s having a problem, everyone is. If oil prices don’t come back soon, everyone in Oklahoma, no matter where they work, will likely feel the effects of the historic price drop.

2020 has become the year of uncertainty at ACS Steel.

“It’s the year of the unknown,” said Marti Coleman, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “No one really knows what’s going to happen right now. There’s a lot of quoting right now, as far as big products, but nothings busting loose right now.”

Coleman said the small company of forty employees builds parts for oil refineries and companies. However, business is down by 80 percent.

“We’re probably at 20 percent capacity,” said Coleman.

“20 percent?” asked KTUL reporter, Maureen Wurtz. “Normally at this time of year, would you be at full capacity?”

“Full capacity plus,” said Coleman.

It’s not just folks who build supplies for the oil industry feeling the hit, but folks in it as well.

“Well, we’re certainly down 20-25 percent production wise,” said Dewey Bartlett.

Bartlett’s family has been in the oil business as long as Oklahoma’s been a state. He knows that the oil industry helped build the city he was mayor of.

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