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Then and Now - May 2008

May 1958 National Geographic Society claims that over the last 40 to 50 years the earth has been getting warmer, thus bringing about a decline in heating oil demand. (I thought Al Gore was the first to report this phenomenon.) $ Meanwhile, TV is being blamed for everything but global warming. It takes the rap for the breakdown of the educational system, the rise of juvenile delinquency, and the decline of home cooking. (Don’t tell S. Smith Sr. this. He thought Howdy Doody was pretty educational.) $ Which reservoirs were hot exploration prospects in East Texas in 1958….Cotton Valley, Bossier, Travis Peak? Would you believe salt dome oil production? $ Who is the newest player in the Persian Gulf? Would you believe the Japanese? The Japanese firm, Arabian Oil Co., secures a concession off the “Neutral Zone”. East Texas crude …


Then and Now - April 2008

April 1958 Two MIT professors announce the development of the “thermoelectron engine”, a device that coverts heat generated by any type of fuel into electrical energy. Thermal efficiencies of 30% are expected.  Like to guess at Royal Dutch Shell’s net income for 1957? Would you believe a paltry $600 million? Conoco reports the development of a seismic method that involves pounding the earth with a vibrating device to create sound waves that are sent through the earth’s strata. “Vibroseis”, as they call it, will reportedly eliminate the need for drilling shot-holes and firing explosives. LPG marketers announce plans to begin mixing ethane into their commercially marketed butane in extremely cold weather areas. The ethane enhances the volatility of the butane far better than does propane. (Not expected to be marketed in Houston.) East Texas crude oil - $3.25/bbl; U.S. active …


Then and Now - March 2008

Note: if you are looking for the March 2008 Chairman's Corner article, Look here http://www.spegcs.org/en/art/?700 March 1958 Who were the top 3 refiners in the U.S. in 1957? Shell, Gulf, Texaco? Nope….Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of Indiana, and Socony. Drilling permits are approved on the edge of downtown Los Angeles; on the Los Angeles Country Club; adjacent to the 20th Century Fox movie lot; but, alas, not in Hollywood. Plans are announced for the formation of a jointly-owned company that will store and ship liquid methane to Europe. The company will be named Constock and will be jointly owned by Continental Oil and the Chicago Stockyards. (A marriage of two companies accustomed to handling H2S.) For the first time, the field prices for natural gas in all producing areas become available. The average base price ranged from …