The Norman Transcript


December 30, 2013

Merger, layoffs mark the year



The Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce and Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett also applauded the merger, calling it a positive step for job growth in the region and job security. But it remains to be seen what changes the thousands of employees in Tulsa will see or experience with the deal.

Nearby, state and local leaders announced in December that Macy’s would be opening a fulfillment center in Owasso in summer 2015. The 1.3 million-square-foot facility was expected to create 1,500 full-time and part-time jobs as well as 1,000 seasonal jobs each year. The $170 million facility will handle orders placed online and in stores.

Also in December, General Electric Co. announced it had selected a site near downtown Oklahoma City for its planned $110 million global research center. The new 95,000-square-foot center will initially focus on technologies involving the production of unconventional oil and gas resources, such as shale. The research center, which is scheduled to open in 2015, will create 130 jobs.

The state’s second-largest newspaper, the Tulsa World, got new owners. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway purchased the 95,000-circulation paper in February to add to the company’s growing newspaper unit.

Robert Lorton Jr., the chairman of the World Publishing Company, said at the time that selling to Berkshire would provide a secure future for the paper in Tulsa.

Oil company TransCanada got one step closer to commercial operation on the Gulf Coast Project, the southern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline. TransCanada began injecting crude oil into the 485-mile pipeline between Cushing and Port Arthur, Texas, in December. The line is expected to become operational Jan. 3 and carry up to 700,000 barrels of oil per day.

The state Department must approve the northern leg, which would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands into the U.S., because it crosses an international border.

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