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Chair's Corner - March 2019

March 1st, 2019

Chair's Corner - March 2019

"Strength lies in differences, not similarities." – STEPHEN R. COVEY

Membership Trends

Since 2014, we’ve experienced a steady drop in our membership every year. A few years ago, our combined professional and student membership was around 20,000; presently, it’s around 15,000. About 6,000 professional and student members allowed their memberships to lapse after the end of 2018. I’m assuming this is an oversight from these members and I’m hopeful many of them will renew in the coming months. With that said, the historic downturn and volatile oil prices have left a mark on our membership levels, and it’s indeed a big concern that we’re trying to address.

In an effort to educate industry professionals across the Gulf Coast Section about the SPE and the benefits of membership in the society, the Membership Committee is relaunching our Ambassador Program. The SPE-GCS board is …


Then & Now - March 2019

March 1st, 2019

Then & Now - March 2019

MARCH 1989

Texaco reports an economic solution to disposal of some oilfield waste in the application of their coal gasification process to produce fuel-grade synthesis gas from tank bottom sludge.

Japan, Iran’s biggest customer for crude oil, is under pressure from its government to cut Iranian crude imports as a result of Ayatollah Khomeini’s call for the death of UK author Salman Rushdie.

WTI crude: $18.51/bbl

U.S. rig count: 761


MARCH 1999

For the first time since 1951, there are no drilling rigs operating in North Dakota. Just two years prior, there were an average of 18 rigs operating on any given day, with 260 wells drilled per year and a labor force of almost 10,000 employees. (We’re back!)

Oil and gas sector respondents report being fully prepared to prevent the feared Year 2000 computer problems, otherwise referred to as …


Chair's Corner - February 2019

February 1st, 2019

Chair's Corner - February 2019

“There is nothing certain but the uncertain.” – UNKNOWN

 

Oil Prices

2018 was a mixed year for our industry. Oil prices soared to highs that the market hadn’t seen in almost four years, but also succumbed to some of the largest single-day drops. Early predictions from Wall Street pointed to barrel prices in excess of $100. Instead, the market experienced the worst drop in over two years. Amidst all the volatility in prices, we saw the United States become the world’s largest oil producer in 2018. The key factor driving US production levels was the Permian Basin. In spite of Permian Basin drillers having issues with pipeline takeaway capacity, oil production increased by nearly 900,000 barrels per day last year.

With falling demand and increasing production from the Permian Basin, more price uncertainty is possible this year.

Infrastructure constraints …


Then & Now - February 2019

February 1st, 2019

Then & Now - February 2019

FEBRUARY 1969

No significant effects on propane supply are forecast for the Southeast following the January explosion of 16 railroad tank cars (480,000 gallons) of the product at Laurel, Mississippi.

Shell’s Rocky Mountain division completes a computer study of 200 rod- pumping configurations for deep, high- volume oil pumping conditions and concludes that the optimum efficiency is obtained from pumps smaller than 1.75 inches, stroke lengths less than 120 inches and surface equipment with unconventional geometries.

US active rig count: 1,118


FEBRUARY 1989

New EPA underground storage tank requirements instituted following a 20,000-gallon leak from a South Dakota tank in 1986 may force the closure of 26,500 service stations, while requiring tank owners to have at least $1 million in tank leak liability insurance.

Turkey and Iran agree to a trade pact valued at $2 billion, with Iran receiving construction aid for …


Chair's Corner - January 2019

January 1st, 2019

Chair's Corner - January 2019

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” – CHARLES DARWIN

We exit 2018 and step into 2019 while looking at the plethora of opportunities ahead. There is a lot of focus on the digital transformation of the oil and gas industry. For several decades, the industry has not taken advantage of the opportunities derived from the meaningful use of data and technology. Data from a single rig can be in the range of several terabytes, yet only a fraction of that data is used for interpretationanddecisionmaking.Otherindustriesseemto havemadeadvancementsinrevolutionizingtheirbusinesses  throughaholisticadoptionof digitaltechnologies.Observing their success, the oil industry is slowly realizing that digital transformation extends beyond Silicon Valley and is something that organizations need to adopt if they expect to survive in the next decade. …


Then & Now - January 2019

January 1st, 2019

Then & Now - January 2019

JANUARY 1974

United Nations diplomats complain to the UN that they are having trouble getting gasoline for their official limousines in New York, one of which is Jamil M. Baroody of Saudi Arabia, a prime mover in the recent oil embargo.

The Interior Department prepares to issue permits for construction of the Alaska crude-oil pipeline this month, now that Congress has removed right-of- way and environmental impediments.

US active rig count: 1,417


JANUARY 1989

An investigation concludes that a gas release caused by removing a pressure relief valve from piping associated with a condensate injection pump is believed to be the cause of the July Piper Alpha disaster in the UK North Sea that cost 167 lives.

War-weary Iraq and Iran are seen to be gradually normalizing international business relations again, having put behind them a five-month cease-fire and a …