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Then & Now - December 2019

December 1st, 2019

Then & Now - December 2019


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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 …

Then & Now - September 2019

September 1st, 2019

Then & Now - September 2019


The border war may be on, as Mobil drills a rank wildcat six miles north

of the metropolis of Telephone, Texas, and just 660 feet from the Oklahoma border. (That hole better be straight or there are going to be problems!)

Despite no drilling in the area in the past 15 years, Texaco reports plans to drill a wildcat in central Florida, six miles northeast of Wewahotee. (Sounds like a name out of a John Wayne western.)

U.S. active rig count: 945


President Carter starts a flap over his support of a plan to sell 1.5 million bbl of heating oil to Iran at $0.55/gal, while Americans will soon be paying $0.90/gal. (Sound familiar?)

Update on the above…National Iranian Oil Company Chief Nazih is reported to be saying that Iran doesn’t really need the fuel and may sell it …

Chair's Corner - August 2019

August 1st, 2019

Chair's Corner - August 2019

The SPE Gulf Coast Section extends a warm welcome to our new chair, Gabrielle Morrow.

We thought we’d introduce her by sharing part of our conversation.

Connect: Where are you originally from and how did you wind up in Houston, Texas?

Gabby: I was born in Lafayette, La. My father worked in the oil and gas industry, so my family moved around quite a bit when I was a child. I have lived in Houston on three occasions and have also had the pleasure of living in Scotland and Alaska. I attended Kansas State University on an athletic scholarship and graduated with a mechanical engineering degree. In my senior year, I accepted a job with ExxonMobil in Houston to be close to family.

Connect: What is so special about Houston and the Gulf Coast region?

Gabby: Houston is a city full …

Chair's Corner - July 2019

July 1st, 2019

Chair's Corner - July 2019

“…You have to experience the depths of the valley to appreciate the views from the peak.” – STEVE WAUGH

It’s been an absolute privilege and an honor to serve as the chairman of the world’s biggest SPE section. I would like to thank the board of directors, our advisors and every single volunteer in our section for having made my job easy and enjoyable. The relationships that I’ve built over the course of this journey will last forever!

In 2018-19 we saw the birth of many new initiatives and the growth of our existing programs and committees. Some notable achievements include:

  • A New Website – We finally launched our new website with the help of our Communications chairperson, Karin Gonzalez, and our website administrator, Lindsey After several months of careful planning, this effort was executed very smoothly and efficiently. I’m hoping …

Chair's Corner - June 2019

June 1st, 2019

Chair's Corner - June 2019

“Recognition is the greatest motivator.” – GERARD C. EAKEDALE

Scholarship Program Updates

As some of you might be aware, we have been awarding 12 annual scholarships for the past few years, including nine petroleum engineering scholarships and three for other disciplines. This year, the board of directors agreed on increasing this number to 14 by adding two more scholarships to the “other disciplines” category. This decision was made based on our strong financial performance and the continued growth of our section. Considering that our industry features professionals from various disciplines, it was logical to boost this segment of our scholarship program.

This year’s scholarship applicant pool was much higher than the previous year. I would like to congratulate the Education Committee, led by Dr. Mohammad Tabatabaei, for all their hard work in identifying and selecting the best candidates for these scholarships. …