Tulsa's 'Oil Capital' status no more

Monday, August 18th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

If Citgo decides to leave, it wouldn't be the first oil company to leave the Tulsa area.

News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson looks at which companies, which have left and stayed in Tulsa. Tulsa was known as the oil capital of the world. The city survived the oil bust along with several oil giants. But in recent years, several companies have pulled-up stakes and headed south.

In 1994 Amerada Hess, a Fortune 500 company at the time, traded its Tulsa address for a Houston one. They took about 400 jobs with them.

In 2001, same story, same city, different business. After 67 years in Tulsa, Parker Drilling also set its sites on Houston. They said the move to Texas would give them a higher international profile. They offered some of their 116 Tulsa employees a chance to move.

And in 2002, the company that made Bartlesville, Phillips 66, also went south. Their merger with Conoco required the new home base to shift to Houston. In this case jobs weren't moved out of the area, the new company Conoco Phillips has maintained its Bartlesville workforce at 2,400.

Some companies have stuck with their Tulsa roots, including oil and natural gas company Unit Corporation. They will celebrate 40 years in business in Tulsa this week. Larry Pinkston, Unit Corp President, "Oklahoma is where our headquarters needs to be at and Tulsa offers a good school system, quality of life." Now those are companies that were headquartered here.

Major corporations with Tulsa offices, like Amoco and Texaco have also cutback significantly.