Rural Electric Co-Op Using Federal Loan to Expand Grid for Oil and Gas Boom

  • Joe Wertz

The oil and gas boom is straining the power grid in rural Oklahoma, and electric co-cops are scrambling to keep up with power-hungry rigs, compressors and other exploration and production equipment.

Powerless, energy companies often turn to generators. Much of the the boom is concentrated in north-central Oklahoma, in an oil play known as the Mississippian, where the boom has brought busier businesses and new houses.  To expand its service and match growth, the Central Rural Electric Cooperative secured a $9.7 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Stillwater NewsPress’ Chris Day reports:

The Stillwater-based electricity cooperative is working with more than 250 oil and gas producers throughout its service area which covers 2,000 square miles and includes parts of Noble, Garfield, Lincoln, Logan, Oklahoma, Pawnee and Payne counties. Much of the growth is on the western half of the CREC system, CREC Communication’s Coordinator Larry Mattox said.

“We serve all the way down to Stroud and east of Cushing, but most of it (growth) is happening near Mulhall-Orlando on west side of our system,” Mattox said.