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Then & Now - February 2020

February 1st, 2020

Then & Now - February 2020

FEBRUARY 2002

First production from three deepwater wells in the GOM Nansen field off the world’s first truss spar featuring an open truss structure is reported by operating partners Kerr-McGee and Ocean Energy. (Remember them?) Johnnie Burton, a bureaucrat from Wyoming, is named director of the US Minerals Management Service. (Can you recall another notable Wyoming bureaucrat that later took a formidable position in the oil industry? See History Quiz.)

Light, sweet crude: $19.96/bbl

Natural gas: $2.13/MMbtu


FEBRUARY 2009

Pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden hijack the MV Longchamp, a German tanker bound from Europe to the Far East with a cargo of LPG. Warships from the US, UK, France, Germany, China and South Korea are ordered to the region.

Small, independent oil companies, including Kosmos and Tullow, jump on the Western Africa oil rush by drilling deepwater Cretaceous sands …


Chair's Corner - January 2020

January 1st, 2020

Chair's Corner - January 2020

Women in Energy

The SPE International Women in Energy (WIN) Committee was formed in 2016.

WIN was launched to promote gender diversity in the upstream oil and gas industry by attracting, retaining and engaging women in the STEM fields. SPEI’s vision is to empower women to realize their full potential in the industry through coaching, mentorship and access to the broader network of global WIN committees. The Gulf Coast Section (GCS) launched its own WIN committee in 2018 to further support the mission and vision of SPEI within our section. GCS hopes to carry this vision forward through all WIN events, especially at its second annual, highly anticipated WIN Congress event coming this January 31, 2020.

Our first GCS WIN event was held in early 2019. The SPE-GCS WIN 2019 Congress served as a single-day event focused on the central theme “Playing …


Then & Now - January 2020

January 1st, 2020

Then & Now - January 2020

JANUARY 1980

Agip and Union Texas report plans to undertake a drilling program offshore Jamaica as part of Jamaica’s new pro-business initiative under new Prime Minister Edward Seaga (Can you visualize Reggae Petroleum gas stations proudly displaying a picture of Bob Marley?).

Hopes run high that President-elect Reagan’s recent visit with Mexico President Lopez Portillo may improve relations between the two countries, thus leading to increased oil imports to the U.S., the resolution of fishing disputes, and the ceding of a chunk of the GOM to the Mexicans.

U.S. active rig count: 3,305


JANUARY 1990

Persian Gulf ties to the former Communist bloc are growing, as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the U.A.E. commit to lending the U.S.S.R. $4 billion to accelerate reformation within the Communist Party, including aid for the crumbling Soviet oil industry.

Pointing to the extent of the U.S. …


Chair's Corner - December 2019

December 1st, 2019

Chair's Corner - December 2019

Become an SPE Member

Having an SPE membership is invaluable, and the Gulf Coast Section takes pride in being one of the largest and most active SPE sections in the world. There are dozens of technical lunch-and-learns every month, as well as more in-depth conferences and symposiums covering a variety of disciplines. The cost to attend these events is low compared to peer events, but with an SPE membership, you also receive additional discounts. There are many networking opportunities with professionals at every level, and you can volunteer within SPE through community service outreach or by sharing your technical knowledge.

SPE members receive access to several resources (including discounts), such as the JPT magazine, OnePetro, which houses our SPE papers, PetroWiki and the SPE Bookstore. Being an SPE member allows you to stay up to date on industry trends, operational changes and …


Then & Now - December 2019

December 1st, 2019

Then & Now - December 2019

DECEMBER 1953

Light oil flowing at 550 bbl per day from a rank wildcat 600 miles north of Perth promises to establish the first commercial oil production on the continent of Australia.

The first deep test for oil in Israel is spudded near the former Biblical city of Sodom (ironically, adjacent to a large salt deposit).

U.S. active rig count: 2,885

East Texas crude: $2.90/bbl


DECEMBER 1977

The world deepwater drilling record (3,461 ft, offshore Thailand) is in jeopardy by upcoming wells planned for, would you believe… offshore Suriname and offshore Newfoundland!

Exxon reports that good results from a test run on 16,000 tons of Texas lignite coal at South Africa’s huge coal-gasification complex could pave the way for a $2-$3 billion lignite SNG facility near Troup, Texas.

U.S. active rig count: 2,118


DECEMBER 1989

Industry shells out big sums …


Chair's Corner - November 2019

November 1st, 2019

Chair's Corner - November 2019

Distinguished Lecture Series

The Permian Basin Study Group will host the first Distinguished Lecture of the year on Tuesday, November 5, at Core Laboratories. The discussion topic, “Data Analytics with Human Intelligence: Outlier Analysis for Decoding Unconventional Plays,” will be presented by Distinguished Lecturer Ben Stephenson.

A link to the registration page can be found at spegcs.org/events/4450/.

Ben Stephenson is a geoscience advisor on the Completions Effectiveness Team for Unconventionals at Shell. He holds a BA in natural sciences from Cambridge University and a PhD from Oxford University on Himalayan tectonics and metamorphism. In his 20-year career with Shell, Stephenson has worked worldwide as a subject matter expert in fractured reservoirs on conventional carbonate and geothermal fields. He now specializes in the interaction between hydraulic stimulation and the subsurface for field development decisions. Stephenson has authored more than 30 external …


Then & Now - November 2019

November 1st, 2019

Then & Now - November 2019

NOVEMBER 1974

President Ford insists that if we can’t reduce oil imports by 1,000,000 b/d by next year, he will establish a mandatory cap on imports.

Contracts are received for a $169 million expansion of the Suez Canal, which will increase its depth from 50 feet to 64 feet and its width from 295 feet to 525 feet, thus helping to accommodate larger oil tankers.

U.S. active rig count: 1,596


NOVEMBER 1989

The California Coastal Commission blocks the utilization of tankers to transport oil from the offshore Point Arguello field to Los Angeles, thus mandating movement of the produced oil through the All-American pipeline at a transportation cost of $5/bbl versus $1/bbl by tankering. Production shut-in appears inevitable!

Arab nations are expected to report proved reserves of 791 billion bbl, or 57 percent of the world’s total, by the year 2000... Things could change …


Chair's Corner - October 2019

October 1st, 2019

Chair's Corner - October 2019

Energy Dot

I would like to congratulate the Energy Dot committee on their tremendously successful Leadership Summit. Due to the adaptation and evolutions of technologies, there are many synergies between Silicon Valley, finance, academia and the oil and gas industry. The Energy Dot leadership team believed it would be a great initiative to have top executives from these sectors share their expertise and work together to help solve the world’s energy problems.

Energy Dot inspired us to embrace current cultural and technical advancement from other industries. It provided a showcase on how we can work together to build a solid foundation for a promising career in the energy sector. It isn’t just about oil and gas. It’s about meeting all of the energy demands of the future, from all sides of energy production. The leaders of the Energy Dot committee saw a …


Then & Now - October 2019

October 1st, 2019

Then & Now - October 2019

OCTOBER 1969

The loosely formed Federation of Arab Emirates will take another stab at consolidating Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain and Fujairah into a united governmental entity with a capital, president and percentage representation of each state in its government.

U.S. drilling continues to ride its best surge in 10 years, thanks largely to new activity in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Kansas.

U.S. active rig count: 1,220


OCTOBER 1990

Exxon files claims against the US Coast Guard to recover costs of the Exxon Valdez tanker spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, claiming Coast Guard negligence was partly to blame.

Mining Kuwait’s oil fields, Saddam Hussein takes the first step towards implementation of his threat to destroy oil production facilities in the Persian Gulf if his forces in Kuwait are attacked.

WTI crude: $36.83/bbl

U.S. active rig count: …


Chair's Corner - September 2019

September 1st, 2019

Chair's Corner - September 2019

The Gulf Coast Section Scholarship Endowment Fund

The Scholarship Endowment Fund is very near and dear to my heart. Many years ago, I served as the Scholarship Chair for the SPE Gulf Coast Section, and was actively involved in interviewing high school seniors in the Greater Houston area for our Scholarship Program. Once the students were selected, I was responsible for maintaining and confirming the scholarship criteria with the students as they progressed through their college level curriculum. What I can tell you is this: these kids are amazing. They work so incredibly hard, and have more extra-curricular activities in a given week than most of us put together as adults. The best part of all of this is that they are right here in our own backyard.

In order for our GCS Scholarship recipients to keep their scholarship, they must …