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Will Oklahoma see an 1980s repeat?

Chris Casteel | NewsOK.com

George Nigh well remembers the last time the Oklahoma oil economy tanked — and the day that seemed to signal hard times ahead.

It was July 5, 1982.

The former governor was in the midst of running for re-election, heading to a campaign event when the phone rang in his car.

It was his campaign treasurer calling to deliver the news that federal regulators had just closed the Oklahoma City shopping center bank that had come to symbolize the oil boom and the go-go lending of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Ada oilman Mike Cantrell, who has watched the oil and gas economy for decades, said the current downturn “is more like the 1980s than the ones we've had before then and now.”

Since June 2014, Oklahoma has lost 11,600 energy jobs and 59 percent of its active oil and gas rigs, according to the state finance office. Full Story