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Then and Now May 2007

May 1957 At the behest of the API, a former MIT professor has come up with an equation involving a mere seven variables that is designed to predict the condition of the atmosphere over the North American Continent at any point in time (Yep…a weather-forecasting equation). $ In an effort to improve public relations and to make the oil industry appear more respectable and dignified, Sun Oil Co. decides to rename some industry icons to: “motor fuel” (formerly gasoline), “service center” (formerly filling station), and “attendant” (formerly filling station guy). $ Back on the east coast, the new Tidewater refinery, considered to be the best-planned refinery in the world, even wins over the environmental community by designing a concrete trough for returning fish-laden cooling water pumped out of the Delaware River and later recycled back into same, thus providing a …


Chairman''s Corner May 2007

Section GoalsAt its meeting last August, the Board adopted a set of goals for the new program year, which were reported on in the Chairman’s Corner for October.  Now here it is May.  So, how have we done?   We set six goals for ourselves:1. Improve Services to Members.  Last October, we talked about the financial health of the Section, which continues today.  Because of our solid financial health, the Board has been interested in finding ways to improve services to our members.  The strongest idea was to increase funding for scholarships. In thinking about it, we decided what we should really focus on is increasing our support for education, and do so in ways that give us the most impact for our dollar.  We formed an ad hoc Education Committee, led by our Vice Chair, Allen Shook.  Their primary goal …


April 2007 Newsletter

Hexion An exciting and rewarding career awaits technical professionals with oilfield fracturing experience. Contact Hexion’s Oilfield Technology Group today to learn about an opportunity of a lifetime! Emerging Leaders Program Board Now Accepting Applications Applications to the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) Board are due April 15, 2007. The ELP was created for the purpose of enhancing the overall membership and effectiveness of the Society by organizing individuals with less than ten years of industry experience together in order to engage them in activities that ultimately support both the Local and International SPE Organizations'' missions and objectives. The ELP is directed by the ELP Board. Applications for the Board are due April 15, 2007, and the application form is posted here: http://www.spegcs.org/en/committees/display.asp?committeeid=25ELP Board members will be selected based on their leadership abilities and development potential. The ELP holds a number of …


Chairmans Corner April 2007

One of the most successful, long-running programs hosted by the Gulf Coast Section is the Oil Patch Orientation Course, which gives a quick introduction to the oil and gas business for people with limited or no petroleum background. The course was available as early as the mid-70s, and in fact, I taught portions of it back then. It was given three times in 2004 to 140 attendees and twice in 2005 to 144 attendees; 2006 was a banner year with 212 students. The course’s popularity has proven its value and success year in and year out. There seems to be no end of opportunity these days as the need to understand our business increases. Whether it is because of high prices or threats of shortages, more people want to know what this business is all about. Oil Patch Orientation is …


Then and Now April 2007

April 1957 After listing at an 8 degree angle for two days, one of the largest and most expensive offshore drilling rigs, Glasscock Drilling’s “Mr. Gus,” capsizes in 40 ft of water in the GOM. The rig that had drilled 13 offshore wells in record-setting water depths and record-setting distances from shore was now reduced to tons of twisted steel and rubble. Some folks believe that the anchor line on the derrick barge that was keeping “Mr. Gus” upright suddenly snapped due to foul play by the ghosts of the four rig hands that had been killed working on the behemoth. $ The shortage of pressurized tank cars for transporting propane has created some interesting family ties. It seems that following WW II, everybody and his brother wanted to buy the surplus tank cars that the Government had for sale, …


March 2007 Newsletter

Crowley Maritime Corporation Providing solutions to energy exploration and production challenges with ocean towing and transportation, upstream logistics, shorebase services, marine engineering, offshore construction support, ESQA and more. Visit www.crowley.com Emerging Leaders Program Board Now Accepting Applications Applications to the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) Board are due April 15, 2007. The ELP was created for the purpose of enhancing the overall membership and effectiveness of the Society by organizing individuals with less than ten years of industry experience together in order to engage them in activities that ultimately support both the Local and International SPE Organizations'' missions and objectives. The ELP is directed by the ELP Board. Applications for the Board are due April 15, 2007, and the application form is posted here: http://www.spegcs.org/en/committees/display.asp?committeeid=25ELP Board members will be selected based on their leadership abilities and development potential. The ELP holds …


Then and Now - March 2007

March 1957 The Soviets claim to have developed a thermal installation for extracting oil from oil-bearing sand. Have they solved the riddle that has plagued the Canadians for years? (Stay tuned!) Another juicy morsel from behind the Iron Curtain (Remember that term?) is the discovery of oil-eating bacteria that thrive in soils above oil-laden strata. (Fire the geophysicist and hire a microbiologist!) The Los Angeles City Council announces plans to drill exploration wells in some high-rent districts of West Los Angeles, namely, the Rancho Golf Course (free drop if you land in an oil spill), the Hillcrest Country Club, and within blocks of the 20th Century Fox movie lot (perfect spot for “The Duke” to film a movie about Red Duke, don’t you think). East Texas crude oil - $3.25/bblU.S. active rig count – 2,443 March 1982 In what is …


Chairman’s Corner – March 2007

The Gulf Coast Section board surveyed members last December to determine how we can better serve you with programs that best suit your many interests. Paul Gerber, research manager with SPE International in Richardson, helped us formulate the survey which went to more than 12,000 members.About 16% responded, making the survey statistically representative of the GCS population as a whole with only a 2% margin of error.The survey gave us valuable feedback: During the past 12 months,56% of our members have participated in one or more Section activities,and 8% have participated in more than five. About 5% of our members are active volunteers, which we greatly appreciate. Although we don’t expect involvement by everyone, we will continue to search for ways to broaden our appeal and to provide better opportunities for all.Perhaps the item that causes me the most grief …


Web-Based Event Reporting

The SPE Gulf Coast Section (GCS) comprises more than 12,000 members, roughly 20% of worldwide SPE membership. The Section has a very active membership, with 13 study groups and 22 standing committees. Through the monthly study group luncheons, annual technical workshops, and annual fundraising social events, SPE GCS hosts an average of 15 events per month and has an  annual budget of more than $1 million.SPE and the GCS have implemented a number of strategies to ease management of these events for the volunteer organization, while maintaining a high degree of fiduciary responsibility to the membership. These include Full-time GCS Liaison—Kathy MacLennan helps with event planning, income, and expense processing Contract accountant—Vicki Rau records and reports income and expenses GCS-provided remote terminals for on-site credit card processing Professionally managed Web site with dedicated webmaster, Jason McElweenie, for e-marketing, event calendaring, …


Dr Theo Fleisch - End of Stranded Gas: Emergence of Gas to Products Options

The world has an abundant supply of low cost natural gas in remote locations.  The monetization of these stranded gas resources requires new technologies and new, large markets.  GTP technologies, including the well known GTL (Gas to Liquids) process, finally emerge as options to efficiently convert this resource into clean, high value fuels and chemicals.  This change was brought about by technology developments over the last two decades.  Over the last two years, we have seen financial project commitments of over $20billion for GTL projects alone.  Less well known are rapid advances in gas to chemicals (such as methanol) conversion technologies and increases in plant scales which significantly reduce manufacturing costs.  These developments transition e.g. methanol from a chemical to a large scale, future fuel and chemical feedstock for other large scale chemicals such as olefins.   Among the many methanol …