Chad Warmington

Chad Warmington, president of The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma

Seven months after the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association merged, the newly formed trade association has a different name and brand.

The trade association recently announced that it has changed its name to The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma, which reflects the fact that the organization represents the entire oil and natural gas industry, President Chad Warmington said in a June 24 interview.

“We have the smallest producers to the largest producers,” he said. “We have refiners. We have the midstream and the pipeline, and then we have the service companies as well. So we have the full gamut of the oil and gas industry being represented now by one association — The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma.”

Warmington served as president of the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association for the past six years before the organization merged with the Independent Petroleum Association to form the new trade association. The merger occurred in December 2018, followed by the recent announcement of the trade association’s new name and brand

The trade association also elected its first board of directors and a new chairman and had its first annual meeting at around the same time.

Speaking with one voice

The Petroleum Alliance’s mission is to create an environment where the oil and natural gas industry can thrive, Warmington said.

“To do that, we have to be about solutions and finding answers — working with our state’s legislative leaders, our regulatory leaders, our governor to create the ability for our member companies to really thrive in Oklahoma,” he said. “Our core at the end of the day is finding solutions and doing what’s right for Oklahoma.”

Warmington said the merger will allow the trade association to speak with a single, unified voice on behalf of the oil and natural gas industry.

Legislative priorities

After two years and $600 million worth of tax increases affecting the oil and gas industry, the Petroleum Alliance was hoping for a peaceful legislative session in 2019, Warmington said.

“I think the governor and legislative leaders absolutely delivered on that,” he said. “They were able to give us a session that was quiet, that focused on being really fiscally prudent.”

Warmington said the industry’s biggest win of the session came when lawmakers and Gov. Kevin Stitt agreed to earmark an additional $200 million for a state savings account, which will make it easier for Oklahoma to survive in hard times.

“The reason that was important for us was, we’re still living with the sting of those $600 million worth of tax increases,” he said. “And the reason we were in that position was because the state didn’t have sufficient savings to weather the downturn.

“Our emphasis to the governor was, ‘Let’s make sure we set aside enough money that when the next downturn comes — and we know that one’s coming, because there always is — that we’ll have revenue set aside to weather that downturn.’”

Warmington said the trade association is starting to discuss its legislative priorities for 2020, which may include urging lawmakers to modernize oil and gas regulations.

Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.