Story by Rod Walton found on

Maybe the Golden Driller or the oil rig water fountain at Centennial Green pay ample tribute to what energy means to Tulsa, but a quick read through the Fortune 500 does the trick, too.

Neither the past nor the future can tell the complete story of the impact the oil, natural gas, utility and coal sectors have on the local economy. Right here, right now, are seven Fortune 500 companies that employ large groups of relatively well-paid workers in the seven-county Tulsa metropolitan statistical area.

Names like Williams Cos. ONEOK Inc., ConocoPhillips, Baker Hughes, Apache Corp., AEP and HollyFrontier Corp. – some headquartered in Tulsa, some not – lead a Tulsa-area energy industry that employs more local people than any sector other than health care.

Tulsa’s energy companies create nearly $29 billion in total economic output annually, nearly triple what the health care and aerospace sectors singularly offer in Tulsa.

“It’s pretty mind-boggling when you look at it,” said Terry Flynn, vice president of the annual Tulsa Pipeline Expo and head of sales and marketing for Vacuworks, a lift system for the pipeline industry.

Flynn doesn’t…

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