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Then and Now - February 2012

February 1994 Industry experts predict that Mexico will face a shortfall of at least 8 tcf of natural gas during the period 1994-2010, due largely to slowing economic growth in Mexico, its inadequate natural gas infrastructure, and its current glut of unmarketable high-sulfur fuel oil which is co-produced with the natural gas. $$ How does the DOE view the future of natural gas vs coal vs renewable energy as per its 1995 budget? Their R&D budget numbers tell it all…natural gas $153 million, coal $128 million, and renewables $1.36 billion. $$ Marathon’s Sakhalin Island PSA (production sharing agreement) with the Russians is nearing realization. All that remains is approval by the Russian Parliament (OK) and agreements regarding the project’s tax, legal, and financial constraints (caveat emptor!). $$ In 1993, for the first time in history, the value of natural gas …


Then and Now - December 2011

December 1961 World’s first machine that makes line pipe while moving along a right-of-way is introduced in North Texas. On a project near Wichita Falls, 4,000 ft of 8-in. pipe was rolled, welded, and strung in 1 day. $ Blue Water Drilling is in the process of modifying a submersible drilling barge so it can drill while afloat. Look out deepwater…here come the semi’s, the tethered platforms, the spars, and who knows what else. $ Iraq’s fiery premier (No, not Saddam but Kassim) vows to “strike at” the three companies which produce Iraq’s oil if they don’t go along with his demand to drastically reduce the areas in the country in which they operate. $ Pressure maintenance programs spring up across McKenzie County, North Dakota in an effort to squeeze a bit more oil out of the Madison formation. (If …


Then and Now - January 2012

January 1962 Chrysler is starting the final evaluation of its gas-turbine passenger car, based on a successful run from New York to Los Angeles. $ The price of wildcat acreage under Cook Inlet, Alaska sky-rockets to $500 per acre. (The paperwork alone costs that much nowadays.) $ The U.S. and the state of Louisiana continue their clash over offshore boundaries. (The Supreme Court is likely to get involved.) $ Iraqis are reportedly miffed because their seizure of Iraq Petroleum operating areas did not lead to the expected rejoicing in other Arab lands, while the company is being pressured to surrender 20% of its ownership along with a larger share of its revenues. $ Shell sets a depth record of 20,800 ft for the Upper Gulf Coast with its Chapman #1 in Waller County (Right in our own backyard). East Texas …


Then and Now - October 2008

October 1958 Oilfield hands continue to reflect on the industry’s worst blowout in history near High Island, where for a time all wells tied to the platform went wild as a result of the explosion damaging all of the closely spaced wellheads. $ Venezuelan oil attaché Eduardo Acosta tells an SEG convention that his country is striving to meet its obligations to establish greater reserves for the defense of the western hemisphere. (And Oh by the way, Venezuelan oil is really domestic oil and should be given preferential treatment in any U.S. oil import control program.) $ Speaking of countries that are looking after the U.S.’ best interests, Libya is reportedly close to delineating its first oilfield, thanks to the efforts of a U.S.-based operator consortium. $ The Engineers Joint Council reports that all 1958 engineering graduates had jobs or …